Water system construction big part of Wauconda's proposed budget

The ongoing construction of a system that will provide Wauconda residents with drinking water from Lake Michigan figures prominently in the village's newly proposed $21.5 million annual budget.

The municipal spending plan for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins May 1, includes nearly $5.3 million for main improvements being overseen by the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, the town's eventual water provider. That's nearly a quarter of the town's entire proposed budget.

Wauconda trustees will publicly review the proposed budget at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at village hall, 101 N. Main St. The board could approve the budget at its April 17 or May 1 meetings.

The budget is much greater than the current year's roughly $16.7 million plan. Projected spending is going up because of the water project, Village Administrator Kevin Timony said.

Wauconda voters approved a $50 million plan to connect to a Lake Michigan water system in 2012. Residents and businesses now get water from wells.

The system's construction began in 2014 and is scheduled to be completed by August 2019, much later than originally proposed. The project has experienced delays because of poor weather, political missteps and other factors.

Aside from the water system, officials expect to spend about $100,000 to improve storm sewers in the Larkdale subdivision.

"Some of the storm sewers in the neighborhood are older and in need of proactive maintenance (and) repairs," Timony said.

Another notable planned expense is the purchase of four new police squad cars, which could cost about $144,000.

Village officials predict they'll collect about $16.8 million in property taxes, fees and other revenue over the next year. That's up slightly from the $16.4 million estimate for the current fiscal year.

Projected expenses significantly exceeds projected revenue because the money to be spent on the water system came from loans the village previously received, Timony said.

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