Let’s Talk Roads…
In its early history, the Village relied on special assessments to fix streets, which meant splitting the cost of the repair with the residents of that particular road. If enough residents of a neighborhood did not agree to pay, or could not afford to pay, the street did not get repaired. All of that began to change several years ago, when residents once again asked the Village Board to make road repair its top priority. In some cases, this would mean fixing drainage problems, too.
“Unfortunately, the Village government still did not have the funds in its coffers to do meaningful road work,” explains Chad Hunter, Superintendent of Public Works. “The frequent answer back then was, ‘We are doing all that we can. We simply do not have enough revenue to repair all the streets and fix the drainage problems in a time frame that would be acceptable to all,'” stated Hunter.
In 2007, the Village embarked on a campaign to fix the roads by formally asking residents these tough questions:
- Are you happy with the current pace of the road repairs?
- Would you like the Village to move faster and fix more streets?
- If so, are you willing to share in the cost?
- Do you have ideas on additional revenue options?
- Are you happy with the way things are?
Next, Village leaders followed up on their campaign by asking voters to approve the one percent road sales tax, to be collected for five years, and used specifically for street reconstruction. Residents approved the tax in February 2008, and the Village created a priority list of system improvements. Thanks to voters, about 36 miles of road were reconstructed and/or resurfaced between 2008 and 2013.
But the job is not finished. the Village went to residents in 2012 and the voters once again approved the one percent (1%) sales road tax, extending it for seven years (2020).