Money for tree removal, new path in Mundelein's proposed budget
The removal of insect-infested trees and the construction of a walking-and-biking path alongside Route 176 are among the projects included in Mundelein's proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year.
Village officials are expected to approve the $49 million spending plan for the new fiscal year, which begins May 1, in two weeks.
The budget is nearly 11 percent leaner than the $55 million budget for the current year. Spending is decreasing because two large and costly road projects -- the widening of a stretch of Hawley Street and improvements to the intersection of routes 60/83 and 176 -- wrapped up this year, Village Administrator John Lobaito said.
Among the notable projects in the spending plan is the construction of a path along Route 176 between Route 45 and Midlothian Road, which will cost about $3.7 million.
Expanding Mundelein's network of walking and bike paths doesn't merely encourage exercise and reduce auto pollution, Trustee Holly Kim said. It can also help the local economy.
"Residents (on bikes) will be more likely to pass by and notice local shops," she said. "Riders from other towns who bike through Mundelein are likely to stop for a meal, (get) ice cream with their family or purchase a drink and support local businesses."
The proposed budget also includes $200,000 for the removal of about 200 parkway trees damaged by emerald ash borers. These are the last of about 1,900 ash trees to be destroyed by the village as part of a program that began in 2013.
Although he mourned the loss of the village's ash trees, Trustee Ray Semple said the ash borer infestation has led to more arboreal diversity in town.
"(We are) planting a range of trees in the parkway so that we are not put a situation where the next disease affects no more than a small amount of our canopy," Semple said. "Hopefully we planned wisely and future residents won't have to deal with dying trees like we have had to deal with."
The budget also increases funding for the village's Business Incentive Grant program, which helps local businesses or commercial landlords improve the aesthetics of their buildings. Officials have set aside $125,000 for the effort, up from $100,000.
The village will collect about $46 million in property taxes, fees and other revenue over the next year, according to projections. That's up slightly from the $44 million predicted for the current year.
Trustees have reviewed aspects of the proposed budget twice this month and are scheduled to do so again April 17. A vote is set for April 24.