by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—As the Elburn Village Board looks to the new year, it will be challenged to find ways to keep up services and finish projects that will affect the future of the village.
The first order of business is to figure out how to maintain the level of services the village provides in the face of a mandate by the state to fund the police pension fund, Village President Dave Anderson said. Now that the village has hit the 5,000-mark in population, it is required to put an upfront, lump-sum payment of $162,765 into the fund within the first year, and in addition come up with a 21 percent contribution out of the police salaries.
“I’m deeply concerned with where we’re going to come up with the money,” Anderson said. “It’s an unfunded mandate from the state.”
On the March 20 ballot, voters will be asked to pass a line item levy to pay for the police fund. If it does not pass, the money will come out of the general operating fund. That can affect the level of services, such as how often streets get plowed after a snowstorm, storm sewer work and street repairs.
The Anderson Road bridge project is expected to get started early in the year. The county plans to go out for bids this spring. The village plans to finalize an annexation agreement sometime this year. A public hearing was to be continued at a Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 4 at Village Hall.
Also this spring, the Kane County Forest Preserve will have a grand opening of the trailhead at North and Reader streets that links the village of Elburn to the Elburn Forest Preserve.
The village will work on updating the Comprehensive Land Use plan over the course of the year. It will take bids from firms that will facilitate the map amendments and modernizing the plan. Money for the project comes from a $100,000 grant.
The waste water treatment plant building will be updated by replacing pumps and wells.
“It’s a modernization of a 40-year-old plant. Some of it are safety issues,” Anderson said. “The updates will take care of the existing village and would have to be done regardless of any or no development.”
Anderson said that painting the water tower is something that needs to be done, but he’s not sure if it fits in this year’s budget.
“You have to maintain. You can pay now or you can pay later,” he said. “This board looks at tasks and issues as if it were their own home.”