Elwood mayor asks Joliet to continue boundary agreement, as NorthPoint asks for land

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Elwood Mayor Doug Jenco spoke to the Joliet City Council at its pre-council meeting Monday night to request a 15-year continuation of the boundary agreement between the two municipalities.

The request comes not long after Joliet decided not to extend the existing agreement with Elwood that expires at the end of 2019. This is relevant as NorthPoint Development has approached Joliet with plans for three buildings on 103 acres of land.

While the agreement is in place, Joliet would not be able to annex land to the south for a potential connection between the 103 acres NorthPoint wants from Joliet and the nearby 670 acres of unincorporated land the company already owns.

Interim Joliet City Manager Steve Jones has said that because the city’s comprehensive plan update was in progress, no decision should be made on the agreement until after the plan’s completion.

“Frankly, that strikes me as a convenient excuse,” Jenco said to the council Monday.

He said Elwood has been requesting the boundary extension since July 21, 2017, and Elwood has made “numerous” requests to Joliet for two years to no avail.

He said Joliet officials also told him a renegotiation would happen closer to when the agreement was set to expire – at the end of this year.

“I have been told over and over again that Joliet intends to proceed with the NorthPoint Development after the boundary line agreement expires,” Jenco said. “If this is true, it is unfortunate that the city has allowed a developer to form a wedge between the two municipalities that have respected a common border for the last 15 years.”

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.