Glencoe may place infrastructure referendum on November ballot
Glencoe Village President Scott has suggested the village place an infrastructure referendum ballot question on the Nov. 6 ballot. file photo
Glencoe’s $7.85 million list:
• Flood control projects: $4 million
• Local street resurfacing: $2 million
• Sanitary sewer upgrades: $800,000
• Sidewalks: $200,000
• Fire engine replacement: $450,000
• Village Hall heating/cooling: $400,000
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:27AM
The Glencoe Village Board is likely to ask voters to approve an infrastructure referendum, and is likely to ask soon.
November’s national election doesn’t scare Village President Scott Feldman, though big turnouts can bring wild cards, especially in a conservative community like Glencoe, in a period when the nation is flirting with recession.
But with risk, there may be reward. The upside of a quicker vote is, Feldman noted, a chance to take advantage of very low interest rates.
“I don’t think that we should be at all afraid of the November election,” he said at a May 17 Village Board meeting. “We never really have a problem in this community with infrastructure improvements, road improvements, the kind of capital costs that we’re talking about here.”
The Boards Finance Committee head, Bruce Cowans, backed him up, and nobody else on the board argued.
If a referendum is to go on the November 6 ballot, the decision has to be made by Aug. 20.
Village Finance Director David Clark put together a $7.85 million list, including $4 million for flood control projects; $2 million for local street resurfacing; $800,000 for sanitary sewer upgrades; and $450,000 for a fire engine replacement.
“This list is a good list,” Cowans said. “No empire building here. Just things we already have that are due for replacement.”
The items on the list aren’t set in stone, at least not yet. Feldman grumbled a bit about the fire truck, noting that another new rig was just delivered about a year ago.
The Board seemed agreed last month on the biggest expenditure, flood control for the areas around Greenwood and Oakdale avenues and Harbor Street/Linden Lane. A consultant had previously estimated costs of relief projects at $3.8 million.
The Board hasn’t yet talked about the lower-priority possible Elm Place-area project that was also studied. Elm Place resident Robert Stein, complaining about flooding in his neighborhood, asked if he and his neighbors were out of luck.
Not necessarily, officials said, but there was considerably less bang for the buck in his area: the preferred Elm project would cost $500,000, and only bring significant relief in “5-year” storms. Anything worse, not much difference, according to Engineering Resource Associates, Inc., and most of the Elm flooding reportedly doesn’t get into basements. A 10-year storm would need another $370,000 in work, the firm had estimated.
If the board is to seriously consider an Elm Place project before setting a referendum, however, it doesn’t have much time, since the panel meets monthly.
A referendum add-on that’s more likely is one that wouldn’t cost money, but save it.
The Board asked Clark to look into refinancing old non-referendum bonds, which would probably require a separate ballot question.