Washington, Illinois

waterlines, grid service, and building roads to access the entire property. The second project is happening on Freedom Parkway, which is the large-scale corporate retail sector. The city is in the midst of plans to prepare a site for development for light industrial and/or more retail in that area. From an environmental sustainability aspect, Oliphant acknowledges, “The City Council has been very supportive of staff creating green projects with trails and multi-modal connections. These initiatives have connected our neighborhoods with trail systems. Those neighborhoods are now very safe places to live and were rated by Neighborhoodscout.com as having a crime rate lower than 44 percent of other communities in Illinois. When the site compared Washington to other cities of a similar size, it found Washington has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than the average.” The city has so many trails that Oliphant knows his staff struggle to come up with more park and trail projects. But he notes, “Our recreation trial network is intended to be green, old school green.” The city has also encouraged residents to do their part by participating in residential solar and green energy projects. According to Ray Forsythe, City Administrator, “Within the Freedom Parkway project they’ve incorporated many sustainable aspects, including bioswales. So I think we’re making a diligent effort to look after the environment.” Bioswales are vegetated open channels designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff while removing debris and pollution and prove an effective asset for stormwater management. The third project is reconstructing the US Business 24 retail corridor and likely removing the median to allow access to businesses on both sides of the road. Oliphant believes this is going to make a great difference for the city and local businesses. He states, “It’s now a matter of      €   WASHINGTON, I LL INOI S