Mayors talk tackling economic development from regional perspective

John Schneider would like area communities to work together on regional issues.

“A lot of the issues we have in local communities, we’re not going to solve them without the help of the county and state,” Schneider said.

Schneider spoke during the annual Meet the Mayors event put on by the Franklin Park/Schiller Park/River Grove Chamber of Commerce. Village presidents and economic development directors from the three towns spoke to dozens of chamber members July 10 at the Franklin Park police station.

Communities are already working together to get a grant from Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning for truck routes.

“Transportation is a big issue,” said Schneider, community development director for Franklin Park. “How do we get trucks in and trucks out.”

Rey Bernero, who works on economic development in River Grove, said “things are looking up” in terms of bringing in businesses.

At one point the village had three empty spaces at its Thatcher Woods shopping center including the former Dominick’s space. Renovations are underway for Family Fresh Market to move in.

The village has also modernized its zoning code and looked through the village for space to redevelop. Among those spaces is a public works building located near its Metra station.

John Zaluda, director of community development for Schiller Park, said a company is interested in building a golf course on the former Sexton property in that community.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story attributed Schiller Park Village President Barbara Piltaver as saying a company is interested in building a golf course on the former Sexton property. The story has been corrected.

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