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Government

Downers Grove's 2019 budget includes $24M of infrastructure improvements

Stormwater management, street and sidewalk work included in spending plan

Downers Grove residents will realize significant infrastructure improvements in the coming year, including stormwater management initiatives and street and sidewalk projects, according to the proposed 2019 budget.
Downers Grove residents will realize significant infrastructure improvements in the coming year, including stormwater management initiatives and street and sidewalk projects, according to the proposed 2019 budget.

DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove residents will realize significant infrastructure improvements in the coming year, including stormwater management initiatives and street and sidewalk projects, according to the proposed 2019 budget.

Village commissioners on Oct. 16 heard a budget presentation that focused on the general fund.

“Once again, we have a balanced budget with revenues equal to expenses,” Village Manager David Fieldman said. “We have, once again, for the eighth year in a row, no property tax increase for operations.”

The budget does include a $451,191 property tax increase for public safety pension contributions, Fieldman said.

The general fund includes a 1.8-percent revenue increase driven by the food and beverage tax, sales taxes and an increase in state income revenue, he said.

General fund expenses, meanwhile, are up only 1.76 percent, or $834,757, Fieldman said.

“The story here is continued, strong, effective cost-control measures,” he said. “This expense control is driven by the reduction of over five full-time equivalent employee positions in this fund with no planned changes in service levels.”

Rather than fill the five vacancies, the village turned to improved technological efficiencies, lean techniques and maximized staff efforts, Fieldman said.

“That is the key driver to expense control not only this year but in years past,” he said.

The $24 million ticketed for infrastructure spending includes improvements to the water system, streets, and stormwater and drainage infrastructure.

Proposed projects include the identification of future drainage and floodplain improvements, storm sewer replacement and stream bank improvements at the south branch of St. Joseph Creek.

Other budgeted projects include West Burlington drainage improvements, the dredging of Prince Pond, neighborhood drainage improvements, downtown water quality improvements and the green streets sustainable stormwater program.

However, improvements are not limited to stormwater management.

“Residents are also going to see substantial investment throughout the village in places like Ogden Avenue, 55th Street and 75th Street being done by the DuPage County and the state of Illinois in 2019," said Nan Newlon, the village's public works director.

Meanwhile, the village plans to spend more than $4.2 million on streets, including the resurfacing of Fairview Avenue from Ogden Avenue to 55th Street. Additionally, $1.8 million is budgeted to fill sidewalk gaps on Ogden Avenue and rehabilitate or replace sidewalks in other areas of the village, Newlon said. New sidewalks will be installed in the West Burlington neighborhood, she said.

Finally, proposed traffic projects include traffic signal replacement on Finley Road at Finley Mall and streetlight replacement in the Fairview Business District. There also are plans for the creation of bike parking in the downtown area, Newlon said.

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