Towns often borrow to fix local streets, but we find two problems with that: interest payments add substantially to taxpayers' total costs and road fixes don't last all that long -- sometimes not as long as the repayment schedule on the bonds. That can set up a borrowing cycle that's hard to break, so such referendums require special scrutiny. Fox Lake's ballot question seeking voter approval to borrow $6 million over 15 years for roads faces another obstacle, coming right after residents were hit with a water rate increase to fix sewer and water systems. The road repairs would cost the owner of a $150,000 house about $86 more a year, and the village would commit $2 million from other sources. While we sympathize with Fox Lake's dilemma in dealing with its 55 miles of deteriorating roads, we'd like officials to look deeper for ways to fund more of the work without more borrowing. For that reason, we recommend residents vote no in the March 18 election.
posted: 2/21/2014 5:01 AM
Endorsement: No on borrowing to fix Fox Lake streets
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