CEDAR LAKE | The town has a lot on its plate with long-term plans, according to Town Council President Randy Niemeyer.
Top on the list is expanding the corporate borders through annexation, a move town officials consider responsible planned growth, especially in light of the proposed Illiana Expressway. It is also key to increasing the town's tax base, they said.
"It’s been a goal for us for a long time to create an economic development area,” which the property the town wishes to annex would accomplish, Niemeyer said.
Last year, the Town Council passed an annexation ordinance and fiscal plan for 4.37 miles of property along the U.S. 41 corridor from 137th to 173rd Avenues. The Illiana Expressway would be located just south of that.
The proposal has not been universally popular with residents.
Another key project for the town's future is the eco-restoration project of the landmark 800-acre lake, which has been in the pipeline for many years.
The town engineer has drafted two specific plans for the lake’s cleanup. The town believes the funding and planning of the project can begin in 2015. “It’s pretty exciting news,” Niemeyer said.
Cedar Lake is also looking at its past as it plans its future. Having grown up as a resort town, much of the town’s infrastructure continues to age. Its unique character also presents some challenges in terms of restoration and rebuilding.
“Some of the other long-term projects in the queue include looking at ways to fund and maintain aging neighborhood streets in our town,” Niemeyer said.
The town has also begun the process of expanding lakefront access to the public.