At the February 24th, 2014 Village Board meeting, the Gurnee Village Board passed a resolution designating the vacant property at 4575 Old Grand Avenue as the “Richard A. Welton Village Plaza” and unveiled the first plans (displayed here) for a new plaza to be built on the site.
The newly improved property, which formerly served as the location of the Village’s Public Works, Police Station and Village Hall, will feature a plaza, seating area, eating area and more for residents and visitors to enjoy. Plans for the plaza and nearby area include a timeline in small monuments to outline milestones in Gurnee history and the extensive civil contributions of Mr. Welton, who served as the Village’s Mayor from 1973 to 2001.
During Welton’s term as Mayor, the Village saw a period of tremendous growth, including the development of Marriott’s Great America (later Six Flags Great America) and Gurnee Mills, as well as a doubling in the Village’s size and a massive expansion in population. Welton was instrumental in creating the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, which supplies the Village with access to Lake Michigan water, and the Lake County Stormwater Management Agency, which helps minimize damage from flooding events throughout Lake County, and served as Chairman of both agencies at one time. During his term, Welton also took an active role in regional affairs by serving as a board member and the president for both the Lake County and Illinois Municipal Leagues. He was instrumental in establishing the Gurnee Days event, which will celebrate its 42nd anniversary in 2014, and since leaving the position of Mayor, Welton continues active service to the Village in his work with the Village’s Economic Development Committee and to the community through his continual participation with local civic groups and on the PACE Suburban Bus Board.
“It is fitting to show our respect and admiration to Mayor Welton for his extraordinary service to Gurnee. The location is perfect since it is in the center of the Village, highly visible and the original site of the Village Hall where Mayor Welton dedicated so many years to building this community,” said Mayor Kristina Kovarik.
The Village, in cooperation with Gurnee Park District, Warren Township and in-kind private donors, will work toward completing the Plaza over time with minimal cost to taxpayers.
For any questions, contact Village Hall at (847) 599-7500.