Bourbonnais Parkway draws instant interest
BOURBONNAIS — Village officials already have started fielding calls from potential businesses interested in moving to the future business and industrial park at Bourbonnais Parkway.
The parkway, located at the just-opened exit 318 off Interstate 57, officially was opened Friday after three years of work and two decades of planning. At Monday’s village board meeting, Mayor Paul Schore said the development has drawn quick interest.
“Word traveled fast when that interchange opened,” Schore said. “We’ve had two phone calls from local entities representing property owners about a couple projects. I learned long ago not to count the chickens before they hatch, but we’ll see where all of that goes.”
Village administrator Mike Van Mill scouted out the area early Monday morning. On the interchange’s first commuter day, Van Mill counted 300 cars that used it between 5:30 and 6 a.m.
“That’s encouraging,” Van Mill said. “We will see a lot of highway-related commercial soon.”
The interchange’s opening is just the beginning of what local officials are calling Kankakee County’s next economic engine.
“The interest level is there. That’s what you want to see,” Schore said. “As long as that is there, the rest will work itself out.”
Village abates $18.7M in taxes
Bourbonnais does not plan on turning to its property owners to help pay off past sewer projects during 2019.
The village board on Monday completed the first reading of four ordinances that would abate $18.7 million worth of levied taxes on general obligation bonds that funded sewer projects dating back to 2012.
“We have money available to pay our bonds. We don’t have to have it on the property tax levy,” Schore said. “We’ve never done that, nor do we plan on it. Every time we issue bonds, we have a plan to pay the bonds off without property taxes.”
About $5.9 million of the bonds date back to sewer projects in 2012, while the other $12.8 million, which was issued in 2016 and 2017, went toward building a 4.6-mile sewer line that connects with Bourbonnais Parkway.
“The property taxes would be substantially higher if we had to look to the property taxes to pay those bonds,” Schore said. “We pay those bonds as part of our sewer fund, which is self-funded.”
The board will vote on the ordinance’s final reading during its next meeting on Nov. 19.