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Survey to ask residents for road referendum feedback

VILLA PARK – The village of Villa Park will be mailing a survey to residents this week asking for feedback on a proposed $23 million road referendum officials believe is vital to financing crumbling infrastructure in town.

"We're going to be sending out the surveys to registered voters to get their opinions, and as we move forward, we'll answer the questions and concerns they have," Villa Park Village Manager Rich Keehner said Wednesday.

The village is seeking to place the $23 million bond referendum on the November election ballot that would address vital road reconstruction projects over the next seven years.

The survey comes after two town hall-style meetings – on May 29 and June 12 – held so village officials and residents could openly discuss the potential referendum. Both meetings were well-attended by residents, whose comments ran the spectrum from outright approval of the proposed referendum to guarded skepticism to strong disapproval for the proposed tax hike.

"We had a very good [second] town hall meeting with a lot of good questions," Keehner said of last week's meeting.

A common theme among most residents who spoke was that the roads in Villa Park have been in poor shape for decades, and that something needs to give.

"We can continue to piece-meal [repairs], but that's all we'll be able to do," Villa President Deborah Bullwinkel said. "It's not easy to ask for help, but we can't do it by ourselves."

If approved in November, the village would have two shovel-ready projects prepared, including a portion of Park Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, Villa Park Public Works Director Vydas Juskelis said.

An oversight committee would be established so residents could track progress and oversee their tax dollars at work, Keehner added.

Moving forward, the village plans to schedule additional town hall meetings to discuss the referendum proposal.

"Whether residents love it or hate it, that's OK, the feedback is extremely important to us," Bullwinkel said.

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Referendum objectives

• Improve Villa Park's infrastructure, especially the ride-ability of village streets

• Increase Villa Park safety through improved roads for residents and visitors

• Enhance curb appeal of residential properties

• Make Villa Park more attractive to business, clients and customers

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