BOLINGBROOK – A two-cent gasoline tax hike in Bolingbrook will help fund removal of the village's infected ash trees, according to village officials.
The Bolingbrook Village Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the hike, effective Aug. 1, bringing the village's total gas tax to seven cents per gallon and netting the village an additional $780,000 in annual revenue, according to village estimates.
This year, the village will have to remove at least 4,000 ash trees infected by the emerald ash borer, according to village attorney Jim Boan, at a cost in upward of $1 million.
"The village board budgeted $500,000 for [ash tree] removal in this year's budget. After the budget was adopted, the staff procured an estimate of over $1 million to remove all the dead trees," Boan wrote in an email to Suburban Life, adding that many of the infected trees "leafed out" this spring, showing the extent of the damage by the invasive insect.
The additional gas tax revenue will make up the remaining costs to remove the trees that wasn't previously in the budget, Boan said.
There are more than 30,000 ash trees in the village, with 10,000-plus located on village property, according to the village.
At a future meeting, the village will hire a local tree removal company to remove the 4,000-plus dead trees, Boan said. The number of trees that need to be removed could grow as well – the village is awaiting results from treatment with insecticide to 6,000 other ash trees, he added.
"This is a multi-year problem that will need additional years of funding," Boan said.
Gun range gets green light
Also Tuesday, the Bolingbrook Village Board unanimously approved a special use permit to allow for the opening of a gun range on two acres of land off Interstate 355.
The indoor range will be part of a 19,275-square-foot facility at 750 Murphy Road with 16 shooting lanes, training areas and retail space, village attorney Jim Boan said.
It will be the first shooting range within the village, Boan said.