Many good things happened in our city this past year. Here are some highlights:
- Development projects kicked into high gear in 2018. First Street phase 3, located along the river between Main Street and Illinois Street, neared completion. The Sterling Bank building opened, with bank and office space, luxury residential condominiums, and a portion of the riverwalk. And construction began on the final building, which will include first floor retail/restaurant uses, second floor office and residential condominium units.
- Residential housing projects advanced: Prairie Centre (former St. Charles mall site) got underway, and Anthony Place affordable senior housing, a part of the Prairie Centre project, was approved. Prairie Winds located along Bricher Road with 250 units is completed and mostly occupied.
- East Side retail filled in at Main Street Commons, with TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Ross Dress for Less and Five Below joined existing anchors Steinmart and World Market to bring the center to near-full occupancy.
- It was announced on the Wahlburgers reality TV show that a Wahlburgers restaurant is coming to the west side in an outlot near the Meijer store. (Our City shined on national TV!)
- The City made improvements to the former George’s Sport building, clearing the way for its commercial redevelopment.
Taxes and City Finances
- The City completed a $17.5M bond issue for the new Police Station currently under construction. Traditionally, these bonds are not paid back with property taxes, but with revenue from sales, liquor, hotel/motel taxes, and other general revenues.
- Maintained strong financial performance in the City’s four main operating funds in spite of revenue reductions from the State.
- Secured $1.3 million in grants for 7th Avenue Creek flood mitigation, and police and fire safety equipment. Utilizing grant opportunities when possible, and not just relying on tax dollars, reflects the City’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
- Finance and Information Systems departments worked together to launch Paymentus, a new online system to pay utility bills that is easy to use and offers more ways to pay www.stcharlesil.gov/utility-billing
- Human Resources Department conducted a Safety Health Audit with our Public Works Department to keep our employees safe and ensure OSHA compliance.
- The Police Department led an initiative for Tri-Com Central Dispatch to join the StarCom radio network to enhance public safety mutual-aid efforts among participating municipalities.
- Fire department spearheaded a successful $1.4 million dollar regional Fire Act Grant request to implement the StarCom digital radio platform.
Securing Future Talent
- The Human Resources and Information Systems departments implemented the new NeoGov Insight online application system.
- The City successfully negotiated collective bargaining agreements with the IBEW and Teamsters unions.
- Human Resources launched a new High Deductible Health Plan/Health Savings Account to enhance recruitment of top talent and potentially save the City money.
- A 10-year Water Study, which will help guide capital projects and operational needs of the Water Utility for the next decade, neared completion.
- One year after flipping the switch, the St. Charles Solar Plant is producing as expected—about 650,000 KWh per year of electricity, which is enough to supply 70 residents.
- Campton Hills Water Tower was repainted. Watch a video of the logo being painted here.
- The Fire Department was re-accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International; our Emergency Management Agency was re-accredited through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
- Construction began on the new police facility at 1515 W. Main Street, with an anticipated finish in late 2019.
- The Police Department achieved re-accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
- Veterans make up about 10% of the City of St. Charles workforce. The City was recognized for support of military employees with the 2018 “Gold Award” HIRE Vets Medallion Program award from the Department of Labor.
- St. Charles was named ‘Best of the Best’ in America in Bloom Awards Program, winning the Circle of Champions award for its population category 25,000-75,000.