What Libertyville capital plan could mean for taxes, fees

Libertyville's first comprehensive, multiyear plan for major projects likely will require new revenue sources to fund them, including an added sales tax and stormwater fee.

The village board on Tuesday will consider adopting a capital improvement plan outlining Libertyville's major project needs for the next 10 years. It is considered a strategic document that unifies and prioritizes projects detailed in all other studies, like the parks master plan, and will serve as a guide for planning.

Approval of the capital plan will not authorize funds for specific projects, but it would become a blueprint for decisions to be made each year during the general budget process. Having an official capital plan also would be part of any justification for grants or referendums, according to the village.

And that likely will be the case sooner rather than later, as the plan identifies a funding shortfall that averages about $2.4 million a year for non-stormwater projects, such as for roads, parks, general infrastructure, technology and facilities.

Adoption of the capital plan is critical as the village board is expected to seek voter approval in the March 17 primary to impose a non-home rule sales tax to offset project costs, according to Finance Director Nick Mostardo.

In a related move Tuesday, the board will consider a measure to approve a contract of up to $99,500 with NewGen Strategies & Solutions LLC to study a potential stormwater utility fee. Work on a potential rate and structure of a utility fee is expected to be complete in time for town hall meetings this fall, with implementation expected early next year.

"The rate study will essentially help us lay out the proposed projects from a financing perspective and will also propose an equitable stormwater utility fee for the (village) board to consider," Mostardo said.

The capital plan spans a wide range of needs including buildings, equipment, road paving and reconstruction, water distribution and more.

Information provided to the village board outlines $81.8 million in projects through the fiscal year ending May 1, 2025, and $79.6 million for the following five years.

Projects are classified in level of importance with 68% of them identified by the village staff as being critical.

Of particular importance are projects to reduce flooding, which became a board priority after the damaging flood in 2017 that affected several hundred homes. The estimated cost of the projects in the approved stormwater program is $45.5 million. About $24 million in stormwater projects is outlined in the first five years of the capital plan, with the rest in remaining years.

The village board meets at 8 p.m. at village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave.

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