Residents of Germantown Hills have noticed plenty of changes during the summer, and more are planned for the future.
The most obvious change for residents and people traveling through the area to see are the new identification signs at village hall, the community center, Oak Grove Park and J.R. Michael White Park.
The signs are all the rock style seen at Metamora Fields, and require no maintenance.
Eventually, the signs will also be replaced at both ends of town. However, they won’t have the same rock appearance.
“They have to be different kind of signs,” Mayor Kenny Mitchell said. “They have to be a breakaway sign for IDOT approval.”
Mitchell added that the village will probably look at those signs next year.
Another big change for Germantown Hills is the upgrade of the playground equipment at Oak Grove Park, which Mitchell said cost about $18,000.
“Everything was just so old,” he said. “It was just time to start making Germantown look a lot better. The signs will last for years and years. The park equipment was all rusty and outdated.”
Another update includes extending the sidewalk along Fandel Road to Windsor with a safe route to school grant.
In addition, the Fandel Farms subdivision will soon have a maintenance chip seal done on the streets, and an asphalt overlay will be placed on Apple Drive, Warrior Way and Combs Cove.
Behind the scenes
Not every update has been so easy to see, though.
A $500,000 trunk line replacement was recently made to treatment facility plant No. 1.
That’s not the only change that will be happening to the plant, though.
“The village is planning to make more improvements to treatment facility plant No. 1,” Mitchell said.
Also, some upgrades will be coming to the White Oaks subdivision sewers soon.
“We’re just getting ready to do Whispering Oaks subdivision sewer repairs,” Mitchell said. “We’re realigning 2,847 feet of sewer mains.”
Also being done in the project are 14 manhole rehabs and six point repairs.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $150,000.
“We’re just going steadily forward,” Mitchell said. “We have a good board that’s willing to work and we’re going to do all that we can for Germantown.”
Besides changes to roads and signs, there have also been the addition of new businesses in town, along with trying to get more businesses in as well.
This summer alone saw the addition of Pizza Hut and the reopening of Germantown Grille under new ownership.
In addition, CEFCU will have a new building either late this year or next year.
“It’s in the works that CEFCU is going to be building by Jubilee in that mall area,” Mitchell said.
The village is also in the process of trying to find a new grocery store to replace Jubilee.
“I think we’ve sent out about 10 letters, I’m guessing, to different stores,” he said. “We haven’t heard anything back yet. One was sent out about a month ago, and eight or 10 were sent out last week.”
Out of all the letters that were sent out were letters to HyVee, a chain looking to expand to smaller towns, and Haddad’s, a Peoria grocery store.
“We’re trying because we want the best for Germantown,” Mitchell said.