The Sports Complex will serve as the economic generator for current and future growth and development, in Rantoul. Negotiations are currently underway with new restaurants, hotels and medical provider facilities. A renewed interest from retail outlets has inspired consists of representation from every department in the Village of Rantoul. This group encompasses the Mayor, the Village Administrator, Department leaders and supervisors. Employees from each department oversee the daily performance of the contractors. Also, local bankers, real estate agencies, and investment firms provide financial guidance to this group.
The Village of Rantoul is becoming a thriving community, once again! I am eager to share with you, the current status of our growth. And I am proud and grateful to be Mayor, during these years of positive developments.
In 2015, I initiated the Rantoul Tomorrow campaign. Many of our residents participated in a professionally guided process to determine the changes we wanted to make. After the results were compiled and discussed, my administration initiated a plan to achieve those goals. For the past eight (8) years, we have diligently worked to bring our shared vision to fruition.
Four years ago, we started experiencing commercial growth, with the addition of The Holiday Inn Express (2016), Jimmy Johns (2017) and The Villas of Holly Brook (2018). In 2019, Shields Auto Center opened a new facility, near Walmart and the new Taco Bell opened in December 2020. In addition, the University of Illinois plans to develop self-driving/ autonomous technologies by building a sophisticated testing facility and road track in Rantoul.
Our most recent development is a 65-acre multi-sport facility in the commercial corridor, west of town. The Rantoul Family Sports Complex projected completion date is March 2021 with April 1st being the first day of sporting events. We estimate that Rantoul will host 2,500 visitors every weekend from April 1st thru November 1, 2021. In addition, we have contracts with sports organizations for a duration of five years and new sporting organizations continue to show interest. Our entire community (business owners and residents) will benefit from the influx of visitors from across the United States.
The Sports Complex will serve as the economic generator for current and future growth and development, in Rantoul. Negotiations are currently underway with new restaurants, hotels and medical provider facilities. A renewed interest from retail outlets has inspired onsists of representation from every department in the Village of Rantoul. This group encompasses the Mayor, the Village Administrator, Department leaders and supervisors. Employees from each department oversee the daily performance of the contractors. Also, local bankers, real estate agencies, and investment firms provide financial guidance to this group.
I am determined to be a prudent steward of your tax dollars. This administration has been able to accomplish a noticeable 24 % increase in property values, while lowering real estate property taxes by 20%. The Village was proactive in accurately forecasting the revenue from the sales tax and income tax returns, contributing to a stabilized budget. The recent pandemic is having a limited financial impact, which we continue to monitor, regularly. The CARES act reimbursements from the State of Illinois have been helpful in offsetting the majority of additional incurred expenses.
I am proud to say, the Village of Rantoul received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the year ending April 30, 2019, our last filing date. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition for excellence in state and local government financial reporting. Financial institutions look at the stability of the local government when evaluating loans and issuing bonds. Our financial stability and industrial expansion encourages developers and residents to make larger investments in our community. Under my leadership, our solid financial practices will continue to be a priority.
Today, Rantoul is in a transitional period that rivals the industrial park development of the late 1960’s. Previously, our community was built around one major employer and that was Chanute Air Force Base (CAFB). We allowed ourselves to become financially dependent on one entity to sustain us as a community. When CAFB closed, we realized we must diversify our income base by offering a variety of employment opportunities in Rantoul. This has been a lengthy and arduous process. Once our community accepted the loss of CAFB and acknowledged a major shift in our economy was both necessary and possible; we began to contemplate a new vision for our town.
My first steps toward a new vision focused on the development of a working relationship between the administrator, the department leaders and myself. In addition, it required consistent guidance and diplomacy to create a new foundation. We accomplished this by listening to community input, establishing advisory groups and consulting with other community leaders. We set the course eight (8) years ago and currently; we are beginning to reap the benefits of our efforts. We have multiple commercial developers seeking to invest in our community, while at the same time our established industries offer economic stability and employment.
It is imperative to our economic growth that our administration builds relationships with surrounding communities. I consistently attend and participate with the following Champaign County organizations, while also serving on intergovernmental committees:
In order to achieve our community goals, effectively lead the administrative staff and actively develop relationships with leaders in Champaign/Urbana and the University of Illinois, I choose to work full-time as Mayor. I intend to continue that dedication when re-elected. Our image and commercial development has hugely improved; yet, more opportunities exists. Maintaining the present leadership will assure maximum and timely progression. Therefore, I ask for your support and vote in the spring election held on April 6, 2021.
Vote For: Proven Leadership * Progressive Change * Continued Economic Growth
Copyright © 2021 Mayor Charles "Chuck" Smith - All Rights Reserved.