SUGAR GROVE – Different strategies are currently being discussed to fund the improvement of village roads in Sugar Grove. A couple of options were brought up during the Village Board meeting June 6.
Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger explained the last time the village had a street evaluation was in 2011. The recommendation stated the village would need to spend $1.45 annually.
"We spent half of the suggested $1.45 million," Eichelberger said. "The grants are harder to get. It's harder to qualify. We haven't had [Engineering Enterprises Inc.] do a study because we haven't been able to spend the money on our roads. Now, there is probably a $2 million recommendation. We would recommend a vehicle registration [to help with funding]."
Several Village Board trustees stated their disapproval of creating revenue for road projects through vehicle registration. The trustees who voiced their opinion agreed that residents shouldn't have to be charged additionally, but rather the Village Board should find a way to fund future road projects without charging residents additional fees.
Trustee Rick Montalto expressed his opinion on how residents might react to a vehicle registration fee based on the conversations he has had.
"I'm not in favor of the sticker program," Montalto said. "I have a car that sits in the garage for seven months out of the year. I can't count the amount of people who have come and complained about their taxes. One person said their taxes went up $200 in a year. If there is something they are currently paying to go to the roads, I would be in favor of that. I don't want to dump our residents out – I know a lot of people are done with Illinois."
Each homeowner in Sugar Grove is currently paying $23.34 for refuse collection. The village's new contract with DC Trash of Illinois would reduce that current fee by $5.59, but the village is discussing keeping the refuse fee the same and taking the surplus and directing it to a fund for road maintenance.
That way, residents would not see an increase in their monthly bill, and the village would annually collect $226,395 for road maintenance. No decision was made during the meeting.
Alleged gang activity causing concerns
Two residents at the Village Board meeting June 6 voiced their distress over alleged gang activity occurring near the corner of Joy and Cross streets. One resident explained she heard a gun shot recently at 5 a.m. and another gun shot the previous month.
Another resident stated he wasn't comfortable being outside of his home or in his backyard with the recent activity.
Eichelberger addressed their concerns by letting them know the village is aware of the situation.
"The board and police chief share your concerns," Eichelberger said. "The police department is doing what they legally can and working with other agencies. We can't talk about what we are doing at a public meeting."