Construction, police programs could benefit Channahon

CHANNAHON – Channahon residents may benefit from new construction this year that will free up traffic, as well as having more chances to take part in community policing programs.

Channahon Police Chief Jeff Wold said Channahon police officials want to continue the department’s cadet program, citizen’s police academy and peer jury programs. All three community policing programs have been active for the past five years and continue to be successful, he said.

Police officials also want to continue a citizen response training program that’s conducted by the Channahon Police Department and Will County Emergency Management Agency. Channahon residents can participate in this program and learn skills such as fire suppression and first aid.

Wold said the program may begin in the spring.

“The majority of the training is done outside … it’s difficult to work with winter weather,” he said.

Every year, the Channahon Police Department aims to ensure no officer is injured, no police vehicles are involved in accidents and there are no complaints about officer conduct. But in 2014, police officials are looking to hold another active shooter drill to refine their response to life-threatening school emergencies.

Wold said police officers may run the active shooter drill at school with a school district in Minooka or Shorewood. The drill involves officers trying to find and stop a shooter inside a school.

“We want to use other area agencies to work with because if this ever happens then we’ll have more than one agency responding,” he said.

This summer they took part in a drill at Minooka Community High School’s South Campus involving the state police, Grundy County sheriff deputies and Channahon and Minooka police officers.

In 2014, the Channahon Public Works Department plans on making $800,000 worth of improvements to existing streets in the area, said Ed Dolezal, the village’s public works director. In 2013, the department has completed another $775,000 worth of road work, including Hansel Road, Magnolia Lane and Evergreen Lane, he said.

Public Works officials expect to make their proposal at a village board meeting in either January or February, he said. But the budget for fiscal year 2014-15 would have to be approved first, which begins May 1 and ends April 30, 2015.

Besides routine maintenance on water wells, village officials are hoping construction of a new bridge at Route 6 and Interstate 55 will begin. About $22 million in state funding has been budgeted for the project, Dolezal said.

The majority of the funding will come from the state while the village will work on bike paths and street lights, he said.

Right now, drivers do not have good access to I-55, he said.

“There’s a real concern about traffic congestion that occurs at that interchange,” he said.

Priorities for Channahon in 2014
• Continue to improve existing streets
• Maintain water wells
• Conduct active shooter exercises for police officers
• Continue community policing programs
• Hope construction of the new bridge at Route 6 and I-55 will begin