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FRG residents question move

FOX RIVER GROVE – Residents against a new Fox River Grove public works facility are planning to submit their petition today to put the funding method on the November ballot.

Glenn Kayler, who has led the charge to gather petition signatures, said the group had more than the required amount for an advisory referendum about the project’s financing.

On Monday, Kayler dismissed the not-in-my-backyard claims by some village officials.

Kayler said he was concerned about the size and cost of the plan compared with the population of Fox River Grove.

“Someone needed to speak up,” said Kayler, who lives across from the proposed site.

A new public works garage at County Line Road is estimated to cost between $2.9 million and $3.6 million, but the total project – to possibly include office space and a repair shop in the future – initially could cost up to twice as much.

Fox River Grove hopes to use a double-barrel bond to help fund the building project, which would rely on local property tax revenues as a backup financing method in case of revenue shortfall. However, most of the project is expected to be paid for through local water and sewer charges.

A new 25,000- to 30,000-square-foot facility will provide for vehicle and equipment storage after the department moves from Hillcrest Avenue, where it is adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant.

Village officials repeatedly have said the expansion of the plant – and thus, the public works project – is required because of an EPA-mandated expansion.

However, an Illinois EPA official confirmed Monday that the village’s treatment plant is in compliance and there is no mandate in effect. But there could be new federal standards soon enacted regarding phosphorous removal and ammonia and nitrogen limits.

“Communities commonly will plan for future use,” IEPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson said. “If they are doing future planning, I have to applaud them for that.”

Village Administrator Art Osten Jr. was not available for comment.

Fox River Grove Trustee Gerald Menzel said the Village Board likely will vote Thursday on either issuing a $3.5 million double-barrel bond for the project, or $3.5 million in taxable debt certificates.

If the double-barrel bond is approved, the debt-service might cost about $220,000 a year. The latter is estimated to cost the village $30,000 more in annual interest.

“There’s a lot of hesitation to go that route,” Menzel said of the more expensive option. “There is no guarantee at this time that there will be enough votes to pass it.”

If you go

What: Fox River Grove Village Board meeting.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Village Hall, 305 Illinois St.

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