Burr Ridge Village Board reviews capital improvements plans

The Burr Ridge mayor and board of trustees got their first look Monday at the Village’s five-year capital improvement budget plan. This plan lays out a general framework for village upkeep and gives trustees some idea of future expenses.

The plan was for consideration only and not up for a vote, though the first year of the plan, the Fiscal Year 2025 capital spending plan, will be approved in April.

Over the next five years, the Village expects to spend just over $22 million on capital improvements though the FY2025 will be the costliest year, with expenses budgeted for just north of $7.5 million.

The improvements were all routine — water, sewer, and street repairs mostly — and the mayor assured the board and taxpayers the village could afford the projects. Even so, the routine repairs represent — as every year — one of the more important expenses for the village both in terms of cost and results as without them, neglect could demand catastrophic and costly fixes in the future.

“This is part one of the budget process,” said Village Administrator Evan Walter. “This is an integral part of the budget process.”

The projects will come from a mix of grants as well as village funds, including the capital improvement fund, the general fund, the water fund, and the sewer fund. The general fund includes savings not earmarked for any particular expense and that fund will pay for police and public works hardware upgrades, including new vehicles, repairs, and the like.

Mostly those expenses won’t be noticed by taxpayers as the money is there already and there should be no inconvenience or impact on day-to-day village life for most people. The bigger projects however include some ambitious street, sewer, and water repairs.

The 83rd Street resurfacing project slated for FY2025 — which, despite the name, begins later this year — will cost around $1 million and Elm Street will cost just under $900,000. The 79th Street pathway will cost $735,000. Meanwhile, the village’s concert stage will be rebuilt for $150,000. Village Engineer Dave Pressig ran through the projects and said the stage’s roof is at the end of its lifespan.

“It really enhances special events,” he noted.

Other large projects include a water main replacement at Woodview for $2.5 million and, again, Pressig noted the existing infrastructure was installed decades ago and is due for replacement. In addition, the south water tower will be refurbished for $819,000 though some of that will come from grants and the pump center will get $280,000 in repairs.

Woodview will also get a sewer rehabilitation for $210,000 and a sewer mobile lift station will run the Village for $50,000.

Walter said in total the Village should get another $2 million in grants to pay for some of the projects, with the rest coming from Village coffers and most of the money coming from dedicated funds, meaning it has to be spent on specific projects, as opposed to the general fund.

No residents had any questions about the proposed spending. Walter reminded anyone watching the meeting online that the process is ongoing and there will be opportunities to weigh in, should anyone wish to do that.

“There won’t be any final action tonight as we’ll be approving this later in the spring,” he said.

Mayor Gary Grasso also reassured citizens the village’s budget is healthy and can afford the projects.

“As you see, we have very healthy funds and it would be no impact on our ability to fund that,” Grasso said.

Jesse Wright is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

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