Flood prevention a key focus of new North Barrington budget

A flood prevention project in North Barrington is the showcase project in North Barrington’s new annual budget, officials said.

The village board on Monday night approved a roughly $3.3 million budget for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins May 1. That sum is about 43% greater than the estimated $2.3 million spending plan for the current fiscal year.

Village Administrator John Lobaito attributed the roughly $1 million year-to-year increase to the planned start of what he called a “major” stormwater mitigation effort.

The multiyear, $2.5 million project — the engineering for which began in 2023 — aims to reduce the frequency of flooding on Route 59 and elsewhere in town, Lobaito said.

The planned work includes replacing a large, clogged stormwater pipe under Route 59 that Lobaito said can’t be cleaned out. Additionally, a drainage channel will be created to assist the flow of rain water between a portion of Route 59 and Route 22.

Pipes will be installed elsewhere in town to address recurring flooding at 48 homes, Lobaito said.

“Much of this work is in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and flood plains,” he added.

Officials expect to spend about $1 million on the project over the next year, Lobaito said.

That’s not the only big-ticket item in the budget.

Officials also expect to spend about $525,000 to resurface more than 1 mile of roadways in town this summer, Lobaito said.

To pay for that work and other expenses, North Barrington leaders predict they’ll collect nearly $4.5 million from property taxes, grants, fees and other revenue sources. Officials are counting on a $2.5 million Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant to reach that total, Lobaito said.

That’s about 2% greater than the roughly $4.3 million revenue total predicted for the 2024 fiscal year.

While leaders in other suburbs have complained that inflation has significantly increased projected spending, that isn’t an issue in North Barrington. The village’s operating budget is increasing less than 5%, Lobaito said, and the additional cost “was easily accommodated.”

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