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updated: 6/20/2014 4:42 PM

More Des Plaines streets to be resurfaced thanks to back sales taxes

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A Des Plaines business that owed the city millions in back sales taxes is helping fund a $2 million street resurfacing project this summer.

City officials decided to accelerate a planned street improvement program after receiving a one-time deposit of $3 million in back taxes from the business -- discovered through an Illinois Department of Revenue audit.

The audit found the business hadn't been paying the city the correct amount of taxes for years, according to Dorothy Wisniewski, the city's finance director.

The name of the company was not disclosed by state officials, Wisniewski said.

The tax payment added considerably to the city's 2013 sales tax revenues -- $4.6 million higher than budgeted.

As a result, the city plans to resurface more streets this summer that otherwise would have been held off until next year, officials said.

"It was our intent when we put the capital improvement program together, to have some resurfacing -- at least $1 million worth," said Tim Oakley, the city's director of public works and engineering. "We're not only able to spend $1 million, we can in fact spend $2 million and get more resurfacing done."

City officials say the extra money comes at a time when many streets have deteriorated more rapidly than anticipated after one of the harshest winters on record.

Crews will remove asphalt pavement and replace 3 inches of asphalt on a total of 5½ miles of roadway throughout the city. The project includes two streets in each of the city's eight wards, including portions of Woodland Avenue, Elk Boulevard, Center Street, Pearson Street, Prairie Avenue, Laurel Avenue, Westmere Road, Marshall Drive, Howard Avenue, Shepard Drive, Nimitz Drive, Maple Street, Berkshire Lane, Mark Avenue, Walnut Avenue and Cordial Drive.

At this week's city council meeting, some aldermen chimed in on their preferences for streets to be resurfaced.

"I think anyone that has had to take the detour lately (as a result of construction on Thacker Street) has probably gotten a good view of the deteriorated condition that Prairie is in, and I'm glad to see it on the list," said Third Ward Alderman Denise Rodd.

Sixth Ward Alderman Mark Walsten and Second Ward Alderman Jack Robinson asked that portions of White Street be resurfaced in the future.

"Once you cross Oakton, it's like an alley out of Afghanistan," Robinson said. "It's really beat up bad."

The city has begun accepting bids for the 2014 projects. Construction could begin as soon as next month.

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