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Coal City scheduled to finish comprehensive plan in 2014

COAL CITY – Coal City’s new comprehensive plan, scheduled to be finished in 2014, details improvements to parks, utilities, roads and the construction of a new logistics park in the upcoming year.

“A No. 1 priority for the village is to bring in some economic development,” Coal City Mayor Neal Nelson said. “We have a project south of town that will bring in several jobs and expand the tax base.”

Coal City will welcome a new 285-acre logistics park to be located at the southwest corner of Reed and South Broadway roads along the Union Pacific railroad line. The park hopes to attract companies that need access to rail.

The railroad track needed within the logistics park is scheduled to be finished by this spring so that construction of the park itself can begin in the summer.

The village also will be mapping out its future in a new comprehensive plan.

“What we think is exciting is we are doing an update to our comprehensive plan,” Village Administrator Matt Fritz said. “It really sets forth what we see the future of the village being.”

The last time the village updated its comprehensive plan was in 2007. Fritz said the comprehensive plan largely focuses on the village’s land use, facilities and transportation goals for the next five to seven years. He said he expects the plan to be completed as early as this summer.

“One of the inserts in the plan we are particularly excited about is phase one of our Broadway project,” Fritz said.

The village is designing the reconstruction of a one mile section of Broadway Street, stretching from just north of Spring Road to Route 113, Fritz said. Phase one involves the design and planning for the new road but does not include construction.

“We recently received a grant from the federal government to complete a phase one engineering study for Broadway,” Nelson said. “Eventually, we will use federal dollars to improve that street.”

The village has also budgeted $300,000 for utility improvements for the upcoming year.

Fritz said they will be deciding what projects to spend the allotted money on.

One major utilities project already in action and set to finished this year is the updating of the village’s storm drainage system. The project is increasing the storage capacity of drain pipes so the village can better handle flooding and other weather events, Nelson said.

“We are also putting a special focus on our parks programming,” Fritz said.

The village will be assessing current park space and looking at how to better manage that space.

“Perhaps we need to consolidate some of our park space so that it’s easier to maintain,” Fritz said.

Nelson said he is proud of the Village Board and Coal City taxpayers for already accomplishing some major projects over the last few years.

“As for the future, I look forward to partnering up with Union Pacific Railroad,” Nelson said.

“They are a major company and I’m very excited about that.”

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