SYCAMORE – Rose Treml sees a light at the end of the tunnel for Sycamore.
When the executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce looked back on the past year, she said the outlook for the economy in the city – and DeKalb County – is prosperous because of the strong public-private relationships and leadership.
“Our businesses have a natural resilience,” she said. “They can get through things because of our community.”
Treml isn’t the only one who is seeing a brighter future for Sycamore as it continues to recover from the Great Recession. Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said the increasing number of housing permits for single-family homes is another sign of progress. The city had issued 25 permits on the year as of October and has since issued three more.
Mundy said homebuilding in the area has been at its steadiest pace since 2008.
“That’s one of the good signals,” he said. “That coupled with slowly increasing sales tax revenues. Those are some positive points toward the new year.”
He said he hopes next year the city will see more growth in businesses and strengthened ties in the community. Outside of annual events such as the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, city officials strengthened their relationship with businesses this year through new events such as Made in Sycamore and local business tours with City Council members.
“These are just wonderful things,” he said. “The reason they’re so good is you see a lot of young families with children and they’re downtown learning about the community but not having to spend a lot of money.”
Besides hoping for jobs in the area, Mundy said he wants to see more people stop commuting to Sycamore and find a way to live there.
“It’s a life-changer for people who can do that,” he said.
Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory said some of the highlights of local businesses was the expansion of Suter Co.’s location on May Street and the construction of Casey’s gas station and convenience store on Peace Road on the city’s north side. The station has been open since October.
Another was the street maintenance program. Sycamore entered its sixth year running a summer street maintenance program and will soon complete the expansion of Bethany Road to three lanes between Peace and Somonauk roads.
“We’ve continued our commitment to infrastructure,” he said.
Treml said she thinks the prosperity the city and the county are seeing will continue into 2014. Although the national economy is sluggish, Sycamore and the county has managed to be luckier.
“I go back to good leadership in our local [and] county government and business leaders,” she said.