As mayor, I recently addressed the Chamber of Commerce to provide details on the state of the village of Carol Stream. The presentation to the membership and those in attendance focused on four key areas of the village and included our financial health, capital and infrastructure projects and economic development.
Financial Health: On April 15, the Village Board approved the 2013-14 fiscal year budget. The General Fund for the current fiscal year projects a $130,000 surplus with projected expenditures $1.4 million less than were approved for fiscal year 2009 to 2010. The current General Fund includes the hiring of two additional police officers and three part-time employees. The village continues to provide essential public services with a lean staffing complement which totals 24 less employees that it had pre-recession. Residents can view the budget and financial plan on-line at www.carolstream.org.
Village Capital Improvement Projects: This spring and fall, the village will be stepping up its effort to remove infested parkway ash trees and plant hardier replacement trees from its nursery inventory. This year alone, a contract is in place to fund the removal of about 1,117 parkway ash trees and replant 340 trees equipped with a water bag to assist homeowners in getting the tree established.
Economic Development: The village continues to work diligently to attract new business and industry into the community. At the height of the recession, the village estimated a 20 percent commercial/industrial vacancy rate which has been significantly reduced in five years to 8 percent.
Public Safety Award: the village recently was notified by Neighborhood Scout, a leading builder of location-based risk analysis data for corporate America regarding the village’s ranking in the top 100 Safest Communities in the United States for towns with populations greater than 25,000. This prestigious honor is testimony to the hard work and diligence of our police department staff in providing high quality public safety services to our residents and business community.
In closing, the village begins its budget year in good financial health and looks forward to an ambitious year of capital projects, which when completed will continue the time-honored practice of improving our community so it continues to be a great place to live, work, worship and raise a family.
Frank Saverino Sr. is the mayor of Carol Stream