Downtown upgrades the focus of 2019 Arlington Heights budget

  • Campbell Street in downtown Arlington Heights could be the site of construction activity starting next spring.

    Campbell Street in downtown Arlington Heights could be the site of construction activity starting next spring. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 
Updated 11/15/2018 7:09 AM

Construction work in and around downtown Arlington Heights may be the most visual example of how the village might spend its money next year -- representing a portion of the $176 million annual budget discussed by the village board Wednesday.

That would include $2 million to install larger storm pipes in and around the business district to help prevent street and surface flooding and mitigate backups for 250 nearby homes, as well as installation of midblock crossings and brick pavers to repair trip hazards. The plan is to coordinate the downtown work, scheduled to begin in the spring, so streets have to be ripped up only once, officials say.

 

"A lot will go on at the same time. This is obviously a disruption for our downtown residents, visitors, businesses and commuters," said Village Manager Randy Recklaus. "In some ways it's probably better because you're doing it all at once. But we will need to have a discussion on how to communicate and coordinate to make sure people are aware."

The village's proposed 2019 spending plan represents a 9.5 percent decrease from last year's budget -- mainly because of the completion of the $27.9 million new police station -- though spending for some individual line items would go up, including public infrastructure related to the development of a new apartment building at Hickory Avenue and Kensington Road, and stormwater projects.

In addition to the bigger pipes downtown -- for which the village expects a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District grant to cover the majority of costs -- another big-ticket item aimed at reducing flooding is $2.6 million to expand a basin and related sewers near Cypress Street. That's part of a $5.8 million project expected to extend into 2020.

Other capital projects villagewide would include:

• $6.1 million for street resurfacing, $1.8 million for street rehabilitation, $807,000 for brick paver maintenance, and $385,000 to replace sidewalks and curbs.

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• $2.5 million for water main replacements as part of a nine-year plan that over time should help reduce the high number of water main breaks in the village.

• $239,000 to visually enhance the Rand Road corridor.

• $200,000 for intersection improvements at Algonquin and New Wilke roads that would include signal upgrades and changes to lane widths.

• $64,000 for the first of an eight-year plan to convert all village-owned streetlights to energy efficient LED bulbs.

Officials have proposed a 1.7 percent overall property tax levy increase -- the combination of the village's 1.97 percent increase and the library's 1 percent increase. Recklaus attributed the village's portion to continued declines in sales and telecommunications tax revenues.

For the owner of a $300,000 house, the levy increase would mean paying $23 more.

The village board's review of the budget continues at 7 p.m. today, with final approvals expected next month.

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