Evergreen Park is a great place to live, work, study, and do business, according to its number one fan, Mayor James Sexton. He presented a snapshot of the Village’s progress over the past year at the 2019 State of the Village Luncheon, held September 26 at the new Community Center.
“The future of this village has never been better,” Sexton told the gathering of Chamber members, local officials, and reporters. ‘The large national retailers have found Evergreen Park, and they are enjoying themselves here. More and more are coming.”
The Village issued 514 business licenses to brick-and-mortar locations over the past year, Mr. Sexton said. New developments and expansions include the following:
- The Olive Garden plans to take over the space previously occupied by Applebee’s at 95th and Western. They will demolish the existing structure and rebuild, opening in late 2020.
- Core Fitness has expanded its facilities, doubling its studio space and allowing them to greatly expand their fitness center in addition to their physical therapy and other services.
- LA Fitness may move into the existing Planet Fitness space at 95th and Western.
- LePar Animal Hospital purchased the old Souzy’s restaurant next door and plans to open a pet grooming and daycare business there.
- A restaurant called 95th Street Barbecue is opening where Famous Dave’s used to be.
The Mayor also reviewed the Village’s balanced budget, which was just over $28 million this fiscal year. He praised the two local school districts, which account for more than 70% of Village expenditures. “Without good schools, you don’t have good kids. And if you don’t have good kids, you don’t have a good town,” he said.
He also commended the Village’s law enforcement departments. With 62 full-time police officers, Evergreen Park has more than double the national average, Mr. Sexton said. The Police Department provides funeral watch and vacation watch services to local community members, offering to stop by a residence three times daily to make sure the house is safe. For businesses, they offer Walk & Talk service, in which an officer parks a patrol car outside a business, gets out, and walks around.
Throughout his speech, the mayor urged residents and business owners alike to keep the Village of Evergreen Park strong by shopping within its borders. He urged the audience to remember our longtime small, family-owned businesses, including Barraco’s, Evergreen Doors, and Wolf’s Bakery.
“One percent of most everything you buy in Evergreen Park comes directly back to this Village,” he said. “. . . So please, if you have the opportunity, shop here and shop local.”