Plans to ask Village residents to consider a property tax levy to address our aging municipal streets and deteriorating culverts have been postponed due to a legal technicality involving an error from the office of our special counsel. This error prevented our referendum question from qualifying for the April 2nd ballot.
Village leadership will focus over the coming months on meeting with constituents to continue the conversation about the state of our decaying infrastructure, and the possible financial remedies, in the wake of an independent engineering study that found that 90 percent of our streets need urgent resurfacing or reconstruction.
Following these ongoing community discussions, the Village will have the option to add the referendum question to the March, 2020 ballot.
Our infrastructure is aging, with an independent engineering study finding that 90% of the Village’s streets urgently need either resurfacing or reconstruction. Over the next 15 years, all the Village’s streets will need either resurfacing or reconstruction.
Since the fall of 2017, the Village has worked closely with the community to “Pave the Way” for the future of our Village. We are so proud of how our Village came together, showing why Hawthorn Woods continues to win awards as one of the best places to live in the United States. Over 1,000 residents participated in this collaboration.
Together, we developed a long-term plan to maintain our streets in a sustainable and affordable way. This plan will preserve our safe, secure, and desirable hometown. This plan proposes an increase in the property tax rate paid by every homeowner in the Village which will be restricted to paying for the streets program. For the average homeowner ($500,000 home value), the impact of the new dedicated property tax levy is $650 per year or $54 per month.
The plan is sustainable, which is necessary because the repair and maintenance of streets never ends. Failing to properly maintain streets leads to those streets deteriorating faster and needing reconstruction rather than resurfacing, which costs three times more. Unlike the unsustainable infrastructure plan implemented 15 years ago, which was based on a one-time revenue source, our new plan is a long-term solution that uses a permanent funding mechanism to proactively maintain our streets long into the future.
The plan is also fiscally responsible, because while we are all willing to invest in our hometown, we must be certain that our tax dollars are being used wisely. The Village has proven its commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility, getting our Village’s finances on solid footing and balancing the budget. Our infrastructure plan follows that same path, implementing the most economic, cost-effective solution. We are moving quickly, because each year we delay the start of the plan, the overall cost increases approximately $1 million as more streets reach the end of their lifespan. Additionally, the plan will save taxpayers $13.5 million in interest over the next 20 years.
Finally, the plan is comprehensive, covering all streets under the Village’s control. The previous infrastructure plan was established to fix only a portion of the streets in the Village. Our current plan covers all our streets, ensuring that all our residents see the benefits as we invest in our hometown.