State of the Village: 'In a Tough Time, We Forge Ahead'

Mayor Tim Baldermann addressed Chamber of Commerce members, discussing Silver Cross Hospital, Portillo's, Route 30 construction and much more.

Mayor Tim Baldermann highlighted New Lenox's recent business development and future growth during his annual State of the Village Address on Tuesday night. 

The annual speech, given at a Chamber of Commerce dinner, serves as an update to some of the major projects and developments in town.

"We've had a lot of success since the last time we were here a year ago," Baldermann said. "In a tough time, we continue to forge ahead." 

Chamber board president Mark Stevens said there have been 30 new members in the first five-plus months of 2012. Here's a glimpse into what Baldermann highlighted: 

Silver Cross Hospital: "We have that quality health care in our community. It's wonderful for our residents and for the entire region. It also does a lot to spur economic development." In addition to the new hospital, the Provena Medica Arts Pavilion is set to open in July across from the Walmart development. . 

Spring Creek Outlet Mall: One of the economic developments planned near the hospital is the outlet mall, which will be built just to the north. Baldermann said it's likely to break ground in spring 2013, and he estimated that by the following spring there could be 250,000 square feet of retail open. Read more about the outlet mall plans.

Portillo's: The popular restaurant has started building along Route 30 near Target and plans to open in September. Baldermann lauded president Dick Portillo for deciding to forego the sales tax incentives promised him. "Portillo's can go into any community they want. Not only were we able to land them, but it was at no cost to the taxpayers." Read more about Portillo's

Route 30: The 9-mile widening project is expected to bring more business development to New Lenox, but in the meantime construction is taking longer than originally anticipated. Village engineer Will Nash said it will likely continue through summer 2013. For now, the village has been communicating with businesses about the construction. . 

New Housing: Although Baldermann didn't have an exact number of new housing starts in 2012, he said it could possibly reach 100 by the end of the year. That's a big improvement after the village dipped as low as 20-some starts a few years ago. . 

Gas Prices: When New Lenox's gas prices were up to 20 cents more than its neighbors, Baldermann told residents to boycott local stations. He acknowledged that's not the most pro-business stance, but said, "If we didn't take care of the residents in our town, the businesses aren't going to be successful." . 

Video Gambling: On Monday night, the Village Board voted to opt out of allow video gambling machines in local establishments. That upset at least one business owner and representatives from the local American Legion and VFW posts. Baldermann addressed it again Tuesday, saying, "I challenge anybody to say (we) aren't supportive of our businesses." . 

Joe Q Public June 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Tough times for us taxpayers, too. We saw Income tax double, Tolls Double, Metra increase and parking increase. It sure hurts to see those pickup trucks w/ M lic plates and 2 guys just sitting in the shade. Municipal waste needs to stop yesterday.
Marie June 13, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Absolutely right, Joe Q. The pension waste needs to stop, and double- and triple-dipping must be absolutely prohibited. We have an $83 billion debt burden around our children's necks.
Who dat June 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Joe Q and Marie, for your reading enjoyment. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-07-16/news/ct-met-pension-deals-20100716_1_police-pension-illinois-pension-final-salaries
hazelgreen June 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM
If only we all had Baldermann's resources and contacts, because he's definitely not hurting.
Marie June 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM
James Madison June 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Right on, Joe Q.
Tom Harris June 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM
You also don't have his work ethics, education or guts to put your real name behind your chicken comments. None of you will ever amount to anything because you hide in the dark and make your gutless comments. I'm proud of our mayor and you are just jealous.
Marie June 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, "Tom", but we still have that worst-in-the-nation unfunded pension liability issue, and those pesky, ethical politicians who continue to contribute to the disaster.
Who dat June 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Who's not to say that we're not proud of our mayor? NL is a wonderful town. Baldermann is a nice guy. I just don't like the banter about all these problems knowing that he's contributing to them.
Tom Harris June 14, 2012 at 02:21 AM
He is a recipient of the system that he works hard in. He didn't write the laws that he benefits from and he doesn't run New Lenox like that. Hate the game, not the player lol
DRK June 14, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Very interesting article in Sundays Chicago Tribune(6/10) about what happened in the town of Bridgeview after they tricked the residents into voting for home rule. Looks like we are heading in the same direction in NL and it isn't good!
Marie June 14, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Can't have a game without players lol
Joe Q Public June 14, 2012 at 03:11 AM
There is nothing wrong with a guy gaming the system and squeezing every drop out for himself-- unless, of course, he's running our system. Gulp.
Tom Harris June 14, 2012 at 03:24 AM
He's not doing it on New Lenox Joe Q. But then again, who knows what your agenda is...
Tom Q Public June 14, 2012 at 04:20 AM
My agenda precisely is to see local government accountable for my hard-earned contributions, which are causing me to question remaining in a fiscally-sinking state. Companies don't give employees company cars- but municipalities do. Companies don't buy new air-cond Kubota mowers every year- munis do. Pension padding? Most companies no longer offer cushy pensions- we pluggers get to participate in the stock market 401-K rigged game. Tom Harris- you must have one of those lazy, shady jobs that afford you to be home at 3 pm.
Chester Rook June 14, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I'm gonna go ahead and chime in here. First off, that article about Mayor Baldermann and the Illinois Pension System was written in 2010. As of January 1, 2011, the law has changed to eliminate the potential for "padding." Now, the average salary for an employee's past 8 years is used to calculate pension benefits. Also, how does what Baldermann did in Chicago Ridge have anything to do with what he's doing for the Village of New Lenox? While I certainly don't agree with what happened with his salary in the short time before his retirement, I can say I am impressed with the progress New Lenox has made over the past several years. So if the underlying motivation for your hatred for Baldermann is that he worked hard and became successful, get over it.
Tom Q Public June 14, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Past behavior is often an accurate predictor. Bring in a shark, be prepared to be nibbled. I have no problem with hard work or success. Slight problem with slipperiness, shiftiness or shadiness? Has anyone see a local real estate office, day spa or even a bank that is remotely as elaborate as city hall? Take a walk in there and ask a simple question- good luck. That's the problem I have. It's the "Let them eat cake" mentality. I personally approached NL, Frankfort and Mokena about building a new biz. NL was rude and unhelpful. Frankfort was much more receptive. 40 yr resident.
cookie monster June 14, 2012 at 02:16 PM
This town wastes so much money! Astro turfing the schools football fields. Insanley lavish villiage hall, library, fire house, and still yet to come a 35 MILLION dollar police station. Gee why have my taxes almost tripled since I moved into this town? Not hard to figure it out. At the same time they give ten year tax breaks to large retailers! Stop and think mayor next time your walking around that pond outside your monstrous village hall, listening to music that is coming out of the special outdoor speakers or reading the bronze plaques that tell you what kind of plant your looking at, ARE THESE THINGS WANTS OR NEEDS!! Stop spending my money on things YOU want!!!
Chester Rook June 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Just purely out of curiosity, what did Mokena say?
Tom Harris June 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Oh cookie monster, please get a clue! The village hall with all the bronze plaques was built before Balderman was Mayor. Furthermore, the Mayor and Trustees don't have anything to do with libraries, schools,astro turf or fire houses. Opinions are one thing, but yours are lies. If you're going to be a whiner, at least get your facts straight.
Marie June 14, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I recall the mayor being a village trustee and school board president, "Tom".
Tom Harris June 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
He wasn't a trustee when the building was built and he didn't serve on the high school board where the astro turf is "Marie"
Marie June 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM
The grade school board decisions were just as bad.
Tom Q Public June 15, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I don't know Balderman personally, but I do know he made $199,000 /yr being police chief of a piddling town of 13,000 people. He will be paid a large percentage of that figure until he dies. Now, here is what the President of the USA makes, along with some other notables: Read more: Salaries of the President, Vice President, and Other U.S. Officials —  President of USA $400,0001 Vice President $230,7002 Senator $174,000 Representative $174,000 Majority and Minority Leaders $193,400 Speaker of the House $223,500 Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court $223,500 Balderman must have been under some intense pressure and preformed phenomenally to deserve that kind of compensation for his skills. He found a better gig than that? Wowsa. Big League. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-07-16/news/ct-met-pension-deals-20100716_1_police-pension-illinois-pension-final-salaries
cookie monster June 15, 2012 at 01:45 PM
You need to get a clue! They are all things that an enormous amount of money was wasted on in our town.Fact not fiction
Tori Linthicum September 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Don't forget about his being superintendant of the 100-student school in Union. That'another $127,000 / yr for 3 yrs. It's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know. wink wink.


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