Naperville’s 2017 State of the City Address

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Mayor Steve Chirico spoke to a crowd of nearly 600 yesterday at the Embassy Suites Chicago-Naperville for this year’s State of the City address, hosted by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The takeaway: dream big.

“A dream without action — without tenacity, drive and the appetite for achievement — is no dream at all. It’s just a wish,” said Mayor Chirico. “Naperville is a community of abundant hope, but we don’t just sit back and wish. We dream it — and then we do it.”

Touching on examples like the Water Street Development, the city’s strong financial outlook, and new businesses calling Naperville home, Mayor Chirico celebrated the progress of the past year – something the business community is applauding.

“I think some of the main highlights from last year were Water Street. I mean we’re a business organization so we’re thrilled,” said President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nicki Anderson. “We’re also thrilled about Chervon coming to town is really great, Perma-Seal building their new headquarters here, state of the art, that’s really exciting.”

While there was much to celebrate, Mayor Chirico also highlighted areas still in need of a vision.

“Now we need to turn our attention to filling other vacancies, like the Dominick’s, ConAgra and OfficeMax buildings, and reinventing places like the East Ogden Avenue Corridor,” said Mayor Chirico. “It’s a tall order, but I believe the answer will come through innovation and being willing to think outside the box.”

A business the Mayor applauded for doing just that is Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company. In a video shared at the address, the mayor toured their facility, where they are making advancements in water processing each day.

“Even in Illinois, even near the Great Lakes, water is an issue, but we are blessed for sure,” said Executive Vice President and President for Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company, Christophe Beck.

“Well with the abundance in water, along with the greatest minds in the water industry, we really will be the water capital of the world,” said Mayor Chirico.

“Let’s do that together!” exclaimed Beck.

The address also emphasized the importance of many local groups, like schools, non-profits, and public services that help Naperville grow and thrive.

“This year’s State of the City address was just so upbeat and positive. Looking at the work that’s happened in our City, just makes me proud to be a resident of Naperville,” said Chief Executive Officer for 360 Youth Services, Katy Leclair. “We have just a great community for families to come together and really live, grow and play together, it’s just amazing.”

A community that Mayor Chirico has big dreams for.

“Together, we will continue to make Naperville a model city for our state and our nation. Now let’s get out there and make our dreams come true,” added Mayor Chirico.

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.