SPRING VALLEY — From its growing relationship with its Italian Sister City to signing paperwork for the start of a new wastewater treatment plant — 2014 is already shaping up to be a productive one for Spring Valley.
With a new slate, Spring Valley Walt Marini has several goals he’s looking to get accomplished this year. His list contains 14 goals for 2014, but the top five are the ones he’s got his eye on already.
At the very top, he plans to move forward with the planning and design of the new wastewater treatment plant and inspect and televise the east and west sewer interceptors and make necessary repairs.
Spring Valley is now sitting on a $9.6 million grant from Gov. Pat Quinn to construct a new wastewater treatment plant, which has not seen any major upgrades since 1985. While construction is not expected to begin until next year, there’s plenty of designing and planning to get through this year in the prepping stages.
Next on the list, is to revitalize the downtown district and work to bring buildings up to code where needed.
“An inspections program needs to be developed to help keep our buildings from getting to the point where they are no longer worthwhile to put back into a viable business venture,” he said. “We will also move ahead with the demolition of the buildings that are no longer structurally sound to improve the appearance and safety of our commercial district.”
Third on Marini’s list, is to help market the Honeywell Hobb’s building in hopes that a new manufacturer will occupy the facility and create jobs for the area.
Fourth is to support the March sales tax referendum, in order to raise funds for the expansion of the street program.
“We need to continually work on infrastructure, physical maintenance and improvements of our community in order to provide a quality of life for our residents and a positive business climate for our commercial, industrial and service companies. They have already invested in our community,” he said. “Our schools are also making capital improvements and we need to strive to meet this level.”
The fifth goal on Marini’s mind, is to expand investment in tourism related activities and marketing.
“The improvements, programs and activities will improve living and working conditions that I hope will retain our existing residents and professionals, as well as, new people and businesses to our city,” he said. “This results in an increase in property values and sales tax revenues and jobs.”
What else is on the list?
• Continue to work with the city council and run the city in an efficient manner.
• Appoint a replacement for the street superintendent position due to the retirement of John Schultz in March, and also appoint the assistant street superintendent.
• Work with Spring Valley Elementary and Illinois Department of Transportation on the Safe Routes to School grant, and select the location of the stoplight that will provide a safe route for students to walk and bike to school.
• Develop an improved sidewalk program for both commercial and residential areas.
• Work with Sullivan’s Foods on their development agreement to assist in the grocery complex construction.
• Work on getting an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant for additional lighting along the sidewalk — from Illinois Street to the new entrance of the Barto Landing — in conjunction with the new Illinois River Bridge.
• See the replacement of Spring Valley’s existing street signs and consider finding a signage program.
• Seek means to expand Spring Valley’s industrial park to have available properties for growth and development of smaller industrial and manufacturing opportunities.
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