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Hampshire may get lower Route 72 speed limit

Route 72 Hampshire seen here 2010 could have its speed limit lowered 35 mph from current 45 mph. | Sun-Times

Route 72 in Hampshire, seen here in 2010, could have its speed limit lowered to 35 mph from the current 45 mph. | Sun-Times Media file

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Updated: December 23, 2013 9:35AM

HAMPSHIRE — The speed limit on Route 72 could get lowered to 35 miles per hour after local businesses asked for the reduction.

During the board’s Nov. 7 meeting, Village President Jeffrey Magnussen reported that some of the businesses along Route 72 voiced concern about the road’s current 45 mph speed limit. They felt that if the speed limit was reduced, the road would be safer and drivers would be more likely to stop and shop at the Hampshire businesses.

Village Trustee Mike Reid told the board Thursday night that he wrote a letter to the Illinois Department of Transportation requesting that the speed limit on Route 72 from Centennial to Prairieview Parkway be changed from 45 mph to 35 mph.

Reid said that IDOT replied that it will conduct a traffic survey at an unannounced date to determine if the speed should be lowered.

In other business, Trustee George Brust requested that the board approve $60,000 as a line item in next year’s fiscal budget for the purpose of improving economic development in the village.

“I’m all for this,” said Trustee Rob Whaley, “but I need to see the details. The board will have the chance to vote if we are going to spend this amount of money.”

Brust announced that the village economic development committee will hold a telephone conference with city of Rochelle officials on Jan. 8, in the village hall. Rochelle has used the Buxton Group to promote its economic development. Hampshire would like to learn how it also could use the Buxton Group to improve the outlook for existing businesses and draw new businesses to the village.

“We need to address the fact that if we want economic development, we need to prepare for whatever marketing company we select,” Brust said.

He said the Buxton Group would be willing to give a presentation about its services during a village board meeting.

Brust also told the village board that Route 20 exit signs noting Hampshire and Marengo as local communities will be installed after roadway improvements are completed.

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