Sugar Grove discusses road improvement funding options

By on July 3, 2014

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed options regarding how the village should fund future road improvements.

“There is a desire to have more road improvement,” Eichelberger said. “This topic comes up all the time. We have to get back to the age-old discussion of either relocating or cutting out other services or raising new revenue. We have a potentially viable option of having a vehicle registration or we can have a referendum that will have a low chance of success.”

According to Eichelberger, Yorkville charges an $8 fee in its utility bill for residents. The $8 is a flat fee per month per every household, and the money is designated for road improvement. Eichelberger mentioned that one of the benefits of collecting this fee is that it would allow the village to fix roads before it has to repave the entire road, and in return the village would save a substantial amount of money.

The board discussed the possibility of implementing a similar fee for the village of Sugar Grove. It discussed that if resident had a household without ownership of a car, their would be a method to opt of the program.

Board members during the meeting brought up how the new fee could be poorly received by residents.

“I think the board has been wise with difficult tax issues, but I think the $8 is too much,” village trustee Kevin Geary said. “I think there are residents who are going to say enough. I think we need to be creative.”

Eichelberger mentioned where the village is at with different solutions for funding road improvements in the village.

“At this point, there is no creative solution,” Eichelberger said. “The community needs to understand that if you want better roads, you have to pay for it.”

Village trustee Rick Montalto brought up ideas on how the village might educate the public if and when it decides to implement the tax.

“I think we need a major education program for residents,” Montalto said. “First thing that will happen if someone sees someone else’s street get fixed, they will be mad that their road isn’t getting fixed. We need a long range plan for a normal rotation for all streets so not to favor certain neighborhoods.”

Village President Sean Michels weighed in on the new option for funding road improvement.

“This is just an option,” Michels said. “We’re not in dire straits right now. I think this is important, and we’ll see where we end up at the end of the year. It’s good information that the board can digest.”

Michels suggested revisiting the funding item in January and February during budget time and discuss where the village is at with the roads.

“We would be taxing residents $100, but it goes a long way,” he said.