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Village Explains $27M Capital Improvement Plans

During a board meeting Monday night, New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann discussed the village's plans to increase utility and sales taxes to help finance a new police department, public works facility, side street repairs and the extension of Nelson Road.

Following the news that New Lenox is planning to increase its utility and sales taxes to help pay for major capital improvement projects, Mayor Tim Baldermann said he got questions from a number of residents.

The mayor and the rest of the Village Board took the time to further explain the plans for $27 million in capital improvements, including a new police station and public works facility, the extension of Nelson Road and a 20-year plan for side street repairs.

"We have an obligation to see beyond tomorrow," Baldermann said during the Sept. 12 meeting. "This is the absolute best time to do it. We are setting ourselves up for the future."

The village would increase its sales tax by a 1/2 a cent, bringing the total rate to 8.5 percent, and also increase its utility tax 5 percent on gas and electric. That would bring in an additional $2.9 million in annual revenue for the village, which would fund an annual $1.7 million bond payment for the projects and a $1.1 million annual payment for repairs to side streets.

Board members said the average resident would still see savings each year, despite the tax increases, because of savings from the village eliminating car and pet tags, $174 in savings for lower electric bills through the and continued 40 percent property tax rebates.

A few residents voiced concerns and asked questions during the meeting. Rich Gamen and Robert Buonadonna both said that, despite enjoying the savings from the electricity aggregation, they feel a new tax on utilities reduces promised savings.

“You giveth with this hand, and the government taketh away with the other hand," Buonadonna said. "Nobody wants to pay any more taxes. There are many people still struggling."

Baldermann said the village looked at every source of revenue to determine what would bring in the needed money and have the smallest overall impact on residents’ wallets. Utilities and sales taxes were chosen in part because non-residents foot some of the bill. Utility tax increase will also be paid by commercial entities, and out-of-town shoppers will contribute to the sales tax. 

The mayor recognized that the public won't always see the benefits of new buildings, but said .

“I think we’ve made tremendous strides to do what’s right for the community and show them we care about New Lenox not only today but also in the future," Baldermann said.

The village is still considering various land options for the new buildings, but the board expects to approve the financing during its next meeting, which is at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, at .

Lisa September 20, 2011 at 03:47 PM
We live in the unincorporated part of New Lenox therefore had no say in the 'home rule' vote and let me tell you if New Lenox raises taxes and such we are seriously considering getting the He## out of town- we certainly would start shopping elsewhere!
Janks January 23, 2012 at 03:58 AM
New Mayor + New Board = Better Ideas with taxpayer money, like SIDEWALKS on BOTH sides of the street. Just a thought, but honestly, nothing will change without a complete clean up of the New Lenox Political Scene.
Michael Sewall January 23, 2012 at 04:00 AM
@Janks Are you talking about specific streets in town that you think could use sidewalks? The village is looking to build sidewalks on the north side of Route 30 near the train station as well as south parts of Cedar Road.
Janks January 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM
In this day and age, there's no reason what-so-ever that there shouldn't be sidewalks on every single street, on both sides of the street, incorporated or unincorporated. It seems to me that the only parts of the village wants or cares about is the new growth areas or the commercial/industrial zones. We've asked before (on our street) about getting zoned into the village when the village wanted to rezone the end of our block, and they wanted no part of it. The Mayor and Board wanted to continue with the zoning change despite the fact it would directly effect the residents on the street. Luckily, the plan failed when the developer would have to do additional improvements in order to build there.
Ty Wagner August 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Crooks- everyone of them. Why wait for an election?- I say we get torches and pitchforks so we can tar & feather these jerks out of town on a rail- TONIGHT. They are destroying our town's future.

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