Why Mundelein's spending will surge by almost 48%

  • A July 2017 rainstorm caused massive flooding in Mundelein. The new municipal budget includes funding for a flood-relief project.

      A July 2017 rainstorm caused massive flooding in Mundelein. The new municipal budget includes funding for a flood-relief project. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 

Mundelein's annual municipal budget will increase nearly 48% in the new fiscal year, primarily because of the pending construction of a new public works and engineering facility and a significant flood-control project.

Officials expect to spend more than $73.9 million over the course of the 2020 fiscal year, which begins May 1. That's up from the nearly $50 million sum budgeted for the current fiscal year. The village board approved the new budget Monday without objection.

Revenue is projected to increase, too -- but not nearly as much as spending.

Income from property taxes, fees, grants and other sources is projected to approach $52 million over the next year.

That's up more than 16% from last year's $44.7 million total. Village Administrator John Lobaito attributed that increase to an anticipated bump in grant revenue.

Officials will borrow money to bridge the nearly $22 million gap between revenue and spending, Lobaito said.

Officials expect to spend about $23 million to create a new public works and engineering facility at 801 Allanson Road. Part of the facility will use an office building now occupied by Natus Medical.

Funding will come from a loan and water and sewer revenue. Construction could start in May and could conclude in summer 2020.

Trustee Dawn Abernathy voted for the budget but opposes the project.

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"It is money that we can't afford to spend right now," she said before the meeting.

Village leaders also plan to spend $10 million on a flood-control project prompted by catastrophic flooding in July 2017.

The project primarily will focus on the Western Slope neighborhood near Route 45 and Division Street.

New stormwater pipes will be installed and a detention pond will be built at the former U.S. Music Corp. factory on Courtland Street.

To make the project happen, the village is trading the current public works property on Crystal Street to a developer for the U.S. Music site, Trustee Ray Semple said.

The work should begin in spring 2020 and wrap up in spring 2021.

Officials will borrow money to pay for the effort. Money from a stormwater utility fee added to water bills and a 3 percent tax on packaged liquor sales will be used to pay back the loan over 15 years.

The budget also includes money for street repairs, new vehicles, sidewalk installations, fire department equipment, and other projects -- as well as basic departmental operations.

Without the public works and flood projects, 2020 would be a "relatively normal" budget year for Mundelein, Semple said.

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