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Bolingbrook's Mayor Claar: Business still key to village

BOLINGBROOK – During the Jan. 16 State of the Village Luncheon, Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C. Claar said people are continuing to invest and move forward in the village.

"I want everyone here today to know about this town," Claar said.

One event from 2013 to remember was the vast number of ash trees the village helped treat after the outbreak of Emerald Ash Borer, Claar said. Bolingbrook alone has about 30,000 ash trees.

"It was an expense we weren't expecting," Claar said. "We've cleared 6,000 trees ... and we have to re-treat those trees in 3 years."

While reminiscing over the past year, Claar also touched on a few future road projects to keep an eye out for, including the 95th Street bridge in the summer, and the Diverging Diamond Interchange, with construction beginning in three years at the earliest.

Along with the road projects, Bolingbrook also will be adding in the spring a new stoplight at Territorial Drive, according to Claar.

Throughout the meeting, Claar also discussed Bolingbrook's businesses closures, but noted that the village saw multiple new businesses come to town.

"It's not as bad as it seems although it's still not great," Claar said on the business turnover.

Claar said new businesses in Bolingbrook include The Beer Market, Costco, Red Mango, Weather Tech, Art Van Furniture and All Saints, among others.

"That's what we're trying to do ... to create more and more jobs," he said. "And you know what, we're doing it."

Before ending the luncheon, Claar commented on the village's standoff with Illinois American Water, which provides Lake Michigan water for Bolingbrook. Claar said the water company created a Fire Prevention Charge to maintain meters and loss of water during fires.

"It's a way to get into your pocket a little more," Claar said. "And that's what we're trying to stop."

While Claar has held his title in Bolingbrook for the past 28 years, he closed Thursday's lunch by noting his tenure will reach 31 years before he decides whether or not he intends to run again.

"As I said last year, don't order the yard signs yet," Claar said. "This term could be it and in the eyes of some should be it."

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