Hodgkins Mayor Ernest Millsap has a laugh with Police Chief Joseph Klotz and a panel of speakers at the event. (Photos courtesty of Rodney Cummings)

Hodgkins Mayor Ernest Millsap has a laugh with Police Chief Joseph Klotz and a panel of speakers at the event. (Photos courtesty of Rodney Cummings)

Hodgkins hosts inaugural business appreciation breakfast 

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Hodgkins brkfst panel

Village, park, library, and school leaders speak at the breakfast.

By Carol McGowan 

Nearly 100 business leaders gathered in the Larry Rice Room at Hodgkins Village Hall last week for the inaugural Business Appreciation Breakfast hosted by the village.

Mayor Ernest Millsap, a panel of village officials, and department heads spoke April 18 about what their various departments, or areas they represented, had going on.

Police Chief Joseph Klotz said they had one officer finishing the police academy, and will hopefully have two more by the end of the year.

Klotz also mentioned that the police department is in the process of updating their body cameras.

Village Comptroller Melody Salerno told guests that village finances are fully secure and safe.

Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Hodgkins Park District, said there will be a movie in the park on June 24, a family dance on July 28, Hodgkins Fest will be in August, and the fitness center is available, along with an upcoming summer camp for from kindergarten to sixth-grade.

Tim Pendergrast, Executive Director of the Hodgkins Library, said now that residents voted to build a new library, officials will be busy for the next few months getting plans together.

Svetlana Popovic, Principal of Hodgkins School, said the district was upgrading the outside of the school, would be adding 3D printers, robotics, coding and STEM classes.

Tim Donatucci, Battalion Chief with the Pleasant View Fire Protection District, which covers Hodgkins and five other towns, said they are always busy recommending safety measures to area businesses and are available to do so.  They will have a new ambulance, perhaps by August, and are in the process of getting a new 107-foot ladder truck.

Jody Kovel, Director of Public Works and the Water Department, said the village will have a new street sweeper by the end of the year, are working on a new public works facility, and will paint the water tower.

Matt Struve, Director of Buildings, said they updated the building code in 2022. Struve said they’re thankful for the businesses in the village, and welcomed anyone to ask him any questions they may have at any time.  His door is always open.

He said the village will have a Chase Bank on the site of the torn down Lonestar Steakhouse and a new Range USA shooting range on the north end of town.

Millsap said the event went over well.

“This was the first breakfast that we did.  We had a business get-together about four years ago with snacks and such, but this was the first full breakfast we did.”

“We plan on doing the breakfast once a year from now on in the spring.”

“I thought it went well.  I loved meeting all of the business we have here in Hodgkins.  I knew most of them from when I was the chief of police, but I did get to meet some new ones.”

“What I liked best, was after we were done, everybody stayed and networked with each other.”

“Kelly Young at the Hodgkins Park District had some businesses contact her about summer programs and for more information to perhaps get their employees involved with our park district.”

“The morning started out slow, but once people started coming, it filled up fast.  The room was filled with positive energy, and everyone wanted to work with everyone.  That’s what make Hodgkins one big family. We will continue to work with businesses here in Hodgkins, and continue the great work that Noel Cummings and John O’Connell did for over 40 years.”

 

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