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posted: 11/16/2012 5:30 AM

Libertyville looks ahead to 2013 road work season

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Residents are getting ready for winter but Libertyville village officials are busy preparing for the next road season.

By the end of the month, the village should have $5 million in its coffers specifically to fix streets, courtesy of voter approval last March of a property tax hike to do so during the next five years.

"We're ready to go. I want them to start work as soon as those asphalt plants open," Mayor Terry Weppler said.

Year 1 will be funded with the first of what will be annual $5 million bond issues, approved by the village board earlier this week. Five firms competed for the chance to lend the village money, with the winning bid at an interest rate of just over 2 percent.

"We think it's very good for a 20-year bond," said Pat Wesolowski, the village finance director. "We got lucky and we just had our sale at the right time."

The village will pay more than $1.2 million in interest during the life of the loan, unless it is paid off sooner or refinanced at a lower rate. The estimated property tax increase will be between about $9 and $13 for a home value at $400,000

Voters agreed the village should raise $20 million to fix about 30 miles -- or about a third of the streets in town. The village intends to issue $5 million in bonds for four consecutive years.

These aren't necessarily big projects but involve dozens of streets in a "shave and pave" plan to shore up roads before they deteriorate further and need to be rebuilt, which can cost three times as much, according to the village.

The first year list is on the village website www.libertyville.com.

In a separate action, the board also approved a $4.2 million bond issue for water and sewer projects, some of which will be associated with the road work.

"The last thing we want to do is repave a street and a year later say we have to replace a sewer line or water line," Weppler said of the associated work.

The winning bid on that issue was 2.11 percent, Wesolowski said. Total interest on that loan is just over $1 million but will be repaid with sewer and water fees, not property taxes.

Bids are expected to be let in January with contracts awarded in February.

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