Mayor Kyle R. Hastings Year End Review 2011
To mark the beginning of last year, Mayor Kyle R. Hastings introduced another balanced budget marking the 18th year in a row that Orland Hills has had a balanced budget. “We have worked very hard to provide high quality services, excellent programs and infrastructure improvements, while coping with the worst economy in decades”, Mayor Hastings said. “I am proud to have balanced the budget for every consecutive year that I have been in office. It shows clearly that we can run our Village like a successful business.”
During 2011, two familiar tax-generating businesses opened their doors in Orland Hills. The Sports Authority opened a 55,000 square foot “superstore” in the former Circuit City facility. Five Below, a leading retailer of trend-right, extreme value merchandise to the teen and pre-teen market also opened in the Wal-Mart shopping center.
Mayor Kyle R. Hastings Year End review also includes two major road improvements for 2011. On 88th Avenue, the entire street was resurfaced from 159th street to 171st Street at a cost of just under $1 million dollars: the largest major street repair ever completed in the Village of Orland Hills. Resurfacing also took place on 171st Street, from LaGrange road to Harlem Avenue. More importantly, efforts are underway to complete the preliminary plans for the total reconstruction and widening of Haven Avenue from 159th Street to 163rd Street.
Midway through 2011, the Village had a 50th Anniversary Celebration which featured fun, food, fireworks and big-name entertainment. Over 5,000 people attended the three day family–oriented celebration. A $6,000.00 grant from the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau helped promote the event. Plans are already underway as Orland Hills begins the next 50 years with a 2012 summer celebration; “Party In the Park”.
Mayor Kyle R. Hastings also welcomed two newly elected Trustees to the Village Board. Trustee Frank Schmidt and Trustee Kyle R. Hastings II were sworn in to office along with incumbent Trustees Candice Morrison and Brian O’Neill. Appellate Judge David Sterba also swore in Library Trustees Jeffrey Dawson, Craig Schmidt and Brian O’Neill.
The First Annual Senior Health fair also became a regular event for the Village of Orland Hills. Seniors were able to have their blood pressure checked, enjoy a message and receive a physical and occupational evaluation. In addition, the Village began a program for the disposal of unwanted medicine. A drop box has been installed at the Orland Hills Police Department to accept the medicine.
And last but not least, the Illinois Racing Board approved an Off- Track Betting site (OTB) for Orland Hills on December 20, 2011. The site is the former location of Hertz Auto Sales at 9201 W. 159th Street. Plans for the site include a full service restaurant to be operated by LaRocco Brothers, Inc. which now operates a similar OTB location in Lockport. The site will be affiliated with Arlington Park Racecourse, LLC a Churchill Downs Company. A complete rehabilitation and build-out of the Hertz facility is estimated to be completed for opening of the OTB by June, 2012. “Entertainment is certainly a part of economic development in any town and we welcome the opportunity to bring more jobs and visitors to Orland Hills. A new restaurant, more jobs and increased revenue for Orland Hills will keep property taxes down for our residents,” said Mayor Kyle R. Hastings.
“Orland Hills residents should be very proud of all of the accomplishments that we have achieved and the improvements that we have made to our community in 2011 and the past years. Our strong leadership, insight and relationship building efforts contribute to improving our town and the region. As your Mayor, I will provide the highest level of service that is possible. My goal is to reduce our dependence on property tax, and to provide the best recreational opportunities for our children and young adults. As we begin the year 2012, it is my intention to start the next 50 years for Orland Hills with a line-up of physical improvements and projects to benefit the entire community.”