Voters in Green Oaks asked for a third time to fund road repairs

  • This is an example of a deteriorated street in Green Oaks. The village is seeking voter approval to create a municipal tax for road repairs.

    This is an example of a deteriorated street in Green Oaks. The village is seeking voter approval to create a municipal tax for road repairs. Courtesy of RHMG Engineers Inc.

  • Workers from Peter Baker and Sons on Friday finish paving on Rockland Road east of St. Mary's Road in Green Oaks as part of annual road repairs. The village is seeking voter approval to create a municipal tax to expand and accelerate road repairs.

    Workers from Peter Baker and Sons on Friday finish paving on Rockland Road east of St. Mary's Road in Green Oaks as part of annual road repairs. The village is seeking voter approval to create a municipal tax to expand and accelerate road repairs. Courtesy of RHMG Engineers Inc.

  • Voters in Green Oaks on Nov. 6 will be asked to authorize the village's first property tax to generate an estimated $259,917 annually to be used for road repairs. In this photo, workers grade Saddle Hill Road south of White Fence Lane.

      Voters in Green Oaks on Nov. 6 will be asked to authorize the village's first property tax to generate an estimated $259,917 annually to be used for road repairs. In this photo, workers grade Saddle Hill Road south of White Fence Lane. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 
Updated 9/28/2018 4:12 PM

Village leaders in Green Oaks again are asking residents for money to fix deteriorating local roads.

Two previous requests in 2016 were defeated and the need hasn't lessened, say village leaders who hope a third try will be successful. Voters on Nov. 6 will decide whether the village should levy a property tax -- the first in village history -- to address the situation.

 

"Our roads have been steadily degrading based on the dollars we have available for repairs," said village Trustee Pete Furlong, who is heading the educational effort.

As it did in November 2016, the village is proposing a tax of 0.0928 percent of equalized assessed value of taxable property. That would cost the owner of a home with a market value of $500,000 about $155 per year and generate a total of $259,917 annually.

"It's not a huge amount of money we're talking about," Furlong said. "It allows us to expedite getting the roads fixed."

The village has changed its strategy since the first attempt in March 2016, when voters were asked to authorize borrowing $18.8 million by issuing bonds for a comprehensive road repair program. Sixty-one percent of voters at the time thought it was a bad idea.

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"The first one was kind of like the Cadillac plan; they were doing about all the roads in the village over an eight-year period," said Ben Metzler, assistant village engineer.

Village officials changed course for the second referendum in November 2016, proposing a permanent tax at a smaller cost for a more sustainable and reliable source of funding, he said. That, too, was defeated, but the gap narrowed.

For the current question, the annual property tax income would provide a base against which the village could borrow about $2 million.

Green Oaks is responsible for 27.5 miles of roads and has a current budget of about $350,000 from various sources, including vehicle stickers, for roadwork.

"We've got some money but now don't have enough to gain any ground," Furlong said.

"At the current funding (level), the village would be able to repair all the roads in 60 years," according to Metzler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

If the request is successful, the focus will be on extending the life of existing roads by pulverizing and reusing the surfaces before resurfacing, which is less expensive than excavating and rebuilding.

"We're trying to avoid reconstruction," Metzler said. "We're not addressing the worst first, per se. We're trying to address roads that are teetering," between needing a new surface or being rebuilt, he added.

Surveys of road conditions in Green Oaks are done every four years on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being best. The overall condition has dropped from 6.2 in 2006 to 3.8 this summer, according to Metzler.

Public sessions are planned and information will be available in the village newsletter and website.

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