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posted: 4/24/2012 4:53 PM

Mundelein's new budget includes millions for village hall construction

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  • Mundelein officials long have wanted to replace the village hall on Hawley Street with a larger, modern building.

      Mundelein officials long have wanted to replace the village hall on Hawley Street with a larger, modern building.
    Paul Valade/Daily Herald File Photo

  • Crews demolished a business south of Hawley Street in Mundelein this year to make room for a new village hall and other buildings.

       Crews demolished a business south of Hawley Street in Mundelein this year to make room for a new village hall and other buildings.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

A new village hall and related street improvements are among the highlights of Mundelein's new $50.3 million municipal budget.

The spending plan for the 2013 fiscal year, which starts May 1, includes millions of dollars for the construction project. Retail and office space also are part of the effort, which is at the core of a long-awaited downtown redevelopment.

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"It's one of the most important projects we've had in years," Mayor Kenneth H. Kessler said Tuesday.

The budget was adopted by the village board Monday night.

The budget is about $9.8 million greater than the $40.5 million spending plan for the current fiscal year.

That's an increase of roughly 24 percent, a significant jump for a town that has been struggling financially for years and had to lay off employees during the recession.

But the town's fiscal picture has brightened, Kessler said, which allows for more spending.

Assistant Village Administrator Michael Flynn attributed more than half of the budget increase to $5 million in state grants that are expected for road projects.

Overall, village leaders expect to collect about $43 million in taxes, fees, utility charges and other revenue in the next fiscal year, according to documents. The differences between projected revenue and spending will come from savings and anticipated grants, officials said.

The village hall construction project, which includes several buildings and has an estimated $10 million price tag, is a big factor, too, Flynn said.

The budget includes $3.5 million for building construction and $1.8 million for infrastructure improvements at the site, Flynn said.

That cash is coming out of village savings, he said.

The infrastructure improvements include new streets to and from the proposed complex, which will be built on village-owned land south of Hawley Street and east of Seymour Avenue. The property used to be home to a business called Sigma Services, which has relocated to a different building in the area.

Village officials have eyed the site for redevelopment for years, and purchased it for about $7 million in 2010.

Officials have wanted to build a new village hall even longer, saying the current facility on Hawley Street is too small and doesn't meet modern building standards, among other complaints.

A Vernon Hills firm called Weston Solutions will oversee the project. As part of the town's deal with Weston, the company will move into offices on the second floor of the building when the structure is complete, and its rent will help pay back construction costs.

"Through the collaboration with Weston, the village is able to construct a new village hall without increasing taxes to its residents to pay for it," Village Administrator John Lobaito said in an email.

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