Dear Friends and Neighbors,
With 2015 off to a successful start, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the good work that we did together in 2014.
Our top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. Throughout last year, we took great strides to move forward the safety and security of Willow Springs.
We implemented the Community Service Officer (CSO) Program. This program allows citizens to take an active role in protecting their community while providing additional resources to law enforcement, including assistance with clerical work, ordinance violations and code-enforcement. We also acquired state-of-the-art equipment to allow officers greater flexibility when patrolling the village.
Building on our partnership with the Tri-State Fire District, we were proud to welcome the Tri-State Fire Prevention Bureau to the Village of Willow Springs, bringing with it additional personnel, programs and services to keep residents safe. As a result of this partnership, response times are quicker, community outreach has increased and resources have nearly tripled.
The Village also undertook the most robust road repair project ever in the Village. Ten roads equaling nearly two miles have been repaved over the past year throughout the Willow Springs. Not only were crumbling roads replaced, but preventative maintenance was performed on several roads to prevent more expensive work in the future. We fund these projects through our sales tax and are proud that money spent in Willow Springs is reinvested here.
In 2014, we welcomed back bike racing. July saw hundreds of cyclists race through town during the 2014 Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series. As the only town in the series to host a road race, Willow Springs is a particular draw to racers, as is the picturesque route which includes a circuit around Maple Lake.
But here in Willow Springs, we also understand the importance of giving back. On August 7, thousands of residents and visitors enjoyed cars, delicious food, cold beer and live entertainment as the Village hosted its 7th annual Willow Springs Benefit Car Show. With nearly 3,500 visitors, this year’s event broke attendance records for the show! All proceeds from the show went toward the Village’s Family and Veterans Relief Fund. Donations also went to partner organizations including Honor Flight of Chicago, The Wounded Warrior Project, the Willow Springs VFW Post 832 and Vietnam Veterans of America.
The Village continues to work with agencies such as Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), The Forest Preserve District and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), the lease holder of much of our annexed land out to Route 83, to plan future recreational and industrial expansion. The prestigious Urban Land Institute has selected this acreage to study in springtime to provide feedback and technical assistance in planning.
We certainly can be proud of the work we did last year, and we look forward to building on this progress in 2015. Together, we can keep Willow Springs a great place to live, work and raise a family.