We stopped by Hopedale last week to check in with Carroll Imig, a life-long resident of the town and Tazewell County board member.
Imig invited over our Director of Rural Development, Nathan Davis, who works with Greater Peoria’s numerous small communities, to see some of their new developments in action. With an offer on the table for a personal tour guided by one of the town’s greatest champions, we made sure to find time for an afternoon visit.
And we are glad we did! We quickly found that cruising through the town of 836 residents is best done with Imig, a well-known member of the community with knowledge of all the nooks and crannies. We also had the pleasure of riding through town on a beautiful August day in Imig’s golf cart!
The biggest update was happening on the west side of town where the new wastewater treatment facility is well into construction. Imig said the facility replaces an aging one that has been pushed to capacity. The new facility ensures Hopedale’s wastewater treatment capabilities far into the future and prepares the community for potential growth.
The full amount of investment in this project will be $2.6 million. It is funded by a mix of grants and loans, including a Community Development Assistance Program grant written and administered by the GPEDC and state revolving loan funds administered by the Illinois EPA.
We visited another big addition to the village along Stringtown Road — the main entrance to Hopedale from I-155 — where construction workers had just poured the foundation of a new Dollar General. Hopedale, with assistance from the GPEDC, was able to attract Dollar General after making a strong case for the retail store’s viability in the small town.
Although the population is small, Imig said there is plenty of business to be had for a retailer — from the town’s residents and the medical complex’s 300+ employees, to the visitors of the nearby Kentuckiana Campground and other local attractions.
We also stopped by the Hopedale Medical Complex where construction on a new nursing home recently began. The new facility will replace the existing structure beside it and provide updates for the residents and caretakers.
While at the medical complex, Imig pointed out the new Veteran’s Memorial that now stands as a grand entrance to the hospital campus. Imig said the dedication of the memorial in May drew over 700 people and included a keynote address by Astronaut Scott Altman.
While on our tour, we couldn’t miss the additional infrastructure improvements underway with the installation of large stretches of new storm water tiling in areas adjacent to the medical complex and the nearby Christian Life Academy, a private school that has operated in the former Hopedale Middle School since 2008.
Next door to the Academy a gravel lot sits empty where the Hopedale High School stood until 1975. With their aim firmly set on village improvements, the town is currently looking into the potential use of the site for a new multi-purpose community center.
We look forward to catching up with Imig and others in Hopedale in the near future and continuing to assist them with their economic development goals. Learn more about Hopedale by visiting their page on www.LiveGP.org
Looking for community and economic development assistance for your town? Learn how the GPEDC can help by contacting Nathan Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-495-5924