YORKVILLE – Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder is painting a pretty picture of the county’s progress and its prospects for the future.
Gryder delivered his annual State of the County address to a large group of Kendall elected officials, department heads and employees on June 3 at the Hoover Forest Preserve’s Meadowhawk Lodge.
The board chairman’s dual focus was on both recent achievements and coming challenges.
“The state of our county is good. The reason for this is thanks to the amazing 343 individuals who work for Kendall County and the 130,000 residents who call it home,” Gryder said.
Gryder presented data showing an official 2020 Census tally of 131,869, an increase of nearly 15% in the county’s population over the previous decade.
“As the fastest growing county in the state, it has been a challenge to keep up with our infrastructure needs,” Gryder said.
Gryder said the much-anticipated Eldamain Road bridge will be opening later this year and will drive new economic development in the county.
“Ridge Road corridor is the next major county road focus, and for those of you who are eager to see Route 47 widened, while that is not a county project, it is expected that construction will begin very soon,” Gryder said.
Route 47 currently remains a two-lane highway from Route 71 south to Caton Farm Road.
Gryder also discussed the planned extension of Collins Road, with construction expected to start a year from now.
That project will include the complete reconstruction of Minkler Road from Route 71 south one mile to a new roundabout intersection with Collins, which is to be extended to the west from Grove Road.
Another major project looming for the county’s transportation infrastructure concerns Kendall Area Transit, the county’s on-demand bus service.
This year the county received a $4 million state grant to help fund construction of a facility for the storage, maintenance, dispatch and administration of the bus fleet, which makes about 130 passenger trips on a daily basis.
Gryder also noted that the county board recently commissioned a consulting firm to analyze all of the county’s offices to determine facility needs for serving the county’s growing population.
The chairman pointed to the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a major success. He said 87,996 residents were fully vaccinated.
The chairman also highlighted the county’s work to distribute federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to local small businesses and non-profit agencies and organizations serving Kendall County residents.
Gryder cited increased cooperation between the county government and local municipalities.
“I can tell you that the cities and the county are working very well together right now,” Gryder said.
In six months, Gryder will be stepping down from the county board after 10 years service.
He is currently locked in a five-way race for the Republican nomination for the 14th Congressional District seat, with the winner of the June 28 primary to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville.
“I stand here with some mixed emotions,” Gryder said. “This will be my last state of the county speech. It has been the honor of my life to serve as the Kendall County Board chair and as a representative for Kendall County’s District 2.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle