Jobs, growth plans highlight State of Village address in Montgomery
By Judy Pochel For Sun-Times Media February 14, 2014 5:52PM
Montgomery Mayor Matt Brolley stressed job growth and development opportunities during his State of the Village address. | Judy Pochel~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 16, 2014 2:39AM
Retaining jobs and growing new opportunities are just some of the areas Montgomery Mayor Matt Brolley says he will concentrate on in the coming months.
Brolley made his State of the Village address Thursday to a crowd filled with political heavyweights including the mayors of Aurora and Oswego. Also on hand were Kane County Board members Jesse Vazquez and Matthew Prochaska, state Reps. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville), Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) and Lina Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), and more.
“I feel the state of the village is excellent,” Brolley said after his presentation.
The crowd that gathered for the address also had significance, according to the mayor.
“The positive things that come from Montgomery impact the region and show what we do has potential regional impact,” he said.
During his speech, Brolley pointed to the state of the village roads and how elected leaders and residents need to work together to make sure the infrastructure of the community remains in good shape. He said he believes the best option is to ask voters to approve a non-home rule sales tax referendum to help pay for road maintenance and other infrastructure improvements.
He said if approved, the 1 percent sales tax for infrastructure improvements would be paid on durable goods, adding $1 per $100 spent, but would not include groceries, medical equipment or services.
“I am in favor of moving forward with this initiative rather than raising property taxes to pay for roadway improvements,” he said.
Brolley highlighted two police department awards given out. Montgomery police Sgt. Elizabeth Palko was named the winner of the 2013 Rising Shield of Law Enforcement Award. Code Enforcement Officer Laura Rouse-DeVore gained national attention when she was name Code Official of the Year by the International Code Council.
Brolley also highlighted a number of projects and trends, including the Boulder Hill Water plan, the consolidation of emergency dispatching services with KenCom Public Safety and new home growth in the village.
The mayor said another important project in the village was the creation of the Tax Increment Financing district along Orchard and Aucutt roads.
“The TIF will be used to fund infrastructure and other improvements that will enable development in that area of Montgomery. This process allows for the improvements at no cost to village residents and is in keeping with the board’s policy that development must pay for itself,” he said.
In keeping with Brolley’s goal of retaining and creating jobs, he highlighted how the expansion of the local Butterball plant worked. He said Fox River Foods brought some 68 new jobs to Montgomery and was able to do so with help from funds from the village’s revolving fund program.
“When Performance Food Group purchased Fox River Foods, they repaid the loan making those funds available for reinvestment elsewhere in the community,” he said.
Brolley explained, “those funds were subsequently used to support the $24 million expansion by Butterball, which created another 100 jobs.”
Brolley said the programs that keep the small town feel alive and well in the village will continue. He pointed to the upcoming 30th annual Montgomery Festival, the partnership with Community Christian Church for an Easter Egg Hunt, open air free concerts in the park, the 5K and 10K River Run, Cemetery Walk, senior monthly programs and luncheons and the Tree Lighting Ceremony co sponsored by the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.
“Our village officials work hard to strike a balance between the level of funding needed to provide essential services to our residents and our desire to minimize the tax burden of those residents,” he said.
He highlighted the Village Board’s decision to freeze property taxes this past year “in recognition of the fact that families and businesses are still recovering from the economic downturn.”
Brolley said his State of the Village address will take place annually.