SPRING GROVE – Expanding the sewer and water systems, repaving Winn Road and other projects discussed by the village of Spring Grove will cost money.
The best way to position the village to get funding is to spend planning dollars now, said Tim Hartnett with HR Green.
“By the time you get the call for projects, you already need to be positioned, you have to have your funding in hand and all your commitments, and have a board action pretty much ready to go,” he said.
HR Green has provided engineering and consulting services for Spring Grove for the past 30 years.
Hartnett suggested spending committee meetings coming up with priority lists for the different road, sewer and parks projects Spring Grove wants to accomplish. HR Green can come up with cost estimates, and the projects can be shuffled from there.
The village also could look at reclassifying roads, which would open grant opportunities, he said. Few grants exist tor local roads.
Winn Road, for example, could be reclassified as FAU, which stands for federal-aid urban, or a major collector arterial, but the change means the road would have to be upgraded to a truck route, Hartnett added.
“You’ve got truck traffic, you’ve got the signage, you’ve got setbacks and you start moving things further and further out,” he said. “I don’t know if one or all of you knew that or like that or what the residents up and down that road, how they feel about that.”
That’s not a worry for Village President Mark Eisenberg, who pointed to Johnsburg’s Spring Grove Road, which is a truck route but doesn’t see a lot of truck traffic. It’s not a highway, he said, so the traffic is local.
The village also should look for partnerships with neighboring communities and townships, school districts, fire protection districts or the McHenry County Division of Transportation, Hartnett said.
That’s why it’s important to attend McHenry County Council of Mayors meetings, he said, and Eisenberg added he’s looking for someone to regularly attend.
“It’s not just filling out a one- or two-page application and throw your name into the ring,” Hartnett said. “There are a lot of commitments.”
The planning would cost the village a couple thousand dollars, Hartnett said.
“I’m not looking to redo your [comprehensive] plan – yet,” he said.