Libertyville to borrow $3.7 million for flood-fighting and other infrastructure upgrades

  • Heavy flooding at the intersection of Crane Boulevard and Dawes Street in Libertyville forced several residents out of their homes in July 2017. The village plans to upgrade a reservoir where stormwater from the neighborhood drains and is pumped to the Seavey Ditch.

      Heavy flooding at the intersection of Crane Boulevard and Dawes Street in Libertyville forced several residents out of their homes in July 2017. The village plans to upgrade a reservoir where stormwater from the neighborhood drains and is pumped to the Seavey Ditch. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Posted5/17/2019 5:20 AM

Libertyville plans to borrow up to $3.7 million by selling bonds to fund various projects, including substantial measures to prevent flooding.

Proceeds will be used to install larger storm sewers as part of the upcoming Rockland Road reconstruction, rehabilitate a reservoir serving the flood-prone Highlands subdivision, and upgrade aging village buildings.

 

The village intends to sell general obligation limited tax bonds, which can be issued without a referendum. The only other outstanding bond of this type in the village was used for Adler Pool upgrades. That matures this year, and another for capital projects will take its place.

Official approval of the bond sale by the village board is expected on May 28.

Property taxes will increase between $5 to $10 per year for homes valued between $300,000 and $600,000, according to Finance Director Nick Mostardo. The amount results from the difference between what has been collected annually for the Adler bonds, $213,610, and new debt payment of about $281,000.

To preserve its Aa2 bond rating, village officials opted for a bond issue rather than using money from reserves, Mayor Terry Weppler said.

"We've got so many expenses right now. If we start (using) reserves, it will change our bond rating and it will cost more," he said.

About $1 million of the bond proceeds will go toward doubling the size of a storm sewer along Rockland Road, from just east of Milwaukee Avenue to the Des Plaines River. The 84-inch replacement pipe is sized to accommodate future flood reduction work in the Rockland Road corridor.

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Federal funds will pay 80% of the Rockland Road project. The village will pay the additional costs of installing a larger storm sewer and replacing a section of water main.

The larger sewer will serve as a nexus for other flood reduction projects being considered as part of a $45.5 million stormwater master plan, Mostardo said.

Copenhaver Construction of Gilberts submitted a low bid of $6.14 million for the Rockland work to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which administers federal projects. Construction is expected to start about July 1.

About $1.5 million of the bond proceeds is targeted for rehabilitation of the Charles Brown reservoir, which receives stormwater from a 550-acre area including Ames, Burdick, Carter and Dawes streets, Crane Boulevard and Rockland Road. The bottom and side slopes of the reservoir will be restored with native plantings to enhance drainage, according to Public Works Director Paul Kendzior. Four pumps that have reached the end of their useful life also will be replaced. Construction is expected in the fall.

Another $1 million will be spent over four years on a series of deferred maintenance projects at village buildings that were built or last renovated about 30 years ago.

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