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updated: 6/30/2014 6:24 PM

Sugar Grove considers vehicle fee to fund road maintenance

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Sugar Grove residents and businesses could be charged a vehicle fee of $100 to $300 a year to pay for road maintenance, under a plan the village board will discuss Tuesday.

The fee would help the village make a bigger dent in the list of roads that need patching, repaving and rebuilding, according to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger.

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Under the proposal, the fee would be charged per utility customer address. With 3,200 households and about 100 businesses, the fee could bring in $330,000 to $990,000 a year, Eichelberger estimates.

The board meets at 6 p.m. at the village hall, 10 S. Municipal Drive. The matter will be discussed during the committee-of-the-whole session, so no vote will be taken.

The village is spending about $1 million less on road maintenance a year than it should be, according to a 2012 analysis of its streets.

That report noted that from 2004 to 2011, the village had resurfaced, microsurfaced or filled cracks on about half of its 60 miles of roads. During those eight years, the annual spending on maintenance averaged $622,900, with one-third coming from state or federal grants.

At that rate, the village was maintaining only about 2.5 percent of its roads a year, which would mean expecting a road to have a 40-year life before reconstruction. The village's consulting engineer said a 20-year life span is more realistic, and that preventive maintenance should be doubled.

The average pavement-condition index was 74, which falls in to the "satisfactory" category, according to the report. Roads scoring 86 and above are considered to be in "good" shape, according to the Illinois Center for Transportation, a research center.

Eichelberger says he doesn't expect the village to receive more motor fuel tax money unless its population increases, and a population increase would likely bring new roads to maintain. He doesn't expect the village to receive more grant funding.

Reallocating other village monies would mean cutting other services, he added.

The village could ask voters to approve increasing property taxes via a referendum, but Eichelberger says he doubts it would be approved.

Neighboring Yorkville started charging its utility customers $8 a month in 2013 for road maintenance.

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