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Article updated: 10/24/2013 1:46 PM

Mount Prospect considers bonds, fee hikes to fund road repairs

Mount Prospect leaders are discussing a $6.5 million bond issue as well as fee and tax hikes to address a lengthy backlog on street repairs. The hikes are expected to provide the village with an additional $2.1 million a year for street maintenance.

Mount Prospect leaders are discussing a $6.5 million bond issue as well as fee and tax hikes to address a lengthy backlog on street repairs. The hikes are expected to provide the village with an additional $2.1 million a year for street maintenance.

 

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Mount Prospect will consider issuing bonds, raising the village's vehicle sticker fee, increasing trash collection charges and hiking motor fuel taxes to fund repairs to more than 13 miles of streets.

The plan discussed by village board members this week would raise $2.1 million in new money annually to fund the street maintenance program and calls for a $6.5 million bond issue to address a backlog in road repairs.

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The proposal presented to village leaders calls for the hikes and bond issue to be implemented over four years. In year one, the direct annual charge for refuse pickup would increase from $100 to $175, while the village would issue $6.5 million in street construction bonds. The cost of refuse collection is covered by both property taxes and the direct charge.

In year two, the village would increase local motor fuel taxes from two cents to four cents a gallon. In year three, the direct charge for refuse would increase from $175 to $243 a year. In year four, the vehicle sticker fee would rise from $36 to $45.

The proposal met with some resistance from Trustee Paul Hoefert, while Trustee A. John Korn said the plan should not be phased in, but instead implemented at once.

"I don't think it's that much to charge, $2.75 a week more for garbage or two cents a gallon more or nine cents for a vehicle sticker," Korn said. "I don't think it's really that much in the scheme of things."

Finance Director Dave Erb said there would be no impact from the bond issue on the property tax levy for the first four years. However, years five through 10 would see modest increases of less than 1 percent.

The plan carries several advantages, among them fully funding the street program and eliminating the backlog, he added.

Addressing concerns that a future village board could roll back some of the increases, Trustee Richard Rogers noted that before that could happen, the backlog would be addressed through the bond issue.

"The nice part is we'll have this whole backlog behind us and we'll be starting fresh, so that even if future boards don't approve these items, the worst situation is we'll start into a backlog again," he said.

Hoefert said that while he appreciates the attempt to spread the pain, "If it was me, I would smooth out these increases."

"I think going from $100 to $175 feels like a lot to me," he added. "When you slam people like this in one category each year it feels impactful."

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