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FRG looks at capital projects

FOX RIVER GROVE – Village officials plan to focus on capital improvements in Fox River Grove for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Village Board has passed a tentative $10.5 million budget, which includes capital projects, for the 2013-14 fiscal year. The projected operating budget of $4.7 million is balanced, Village Administrator Karl Warwick said.

After holding off on major road projects for this fiscal year, the village plans $650,000 of work for the Victoria Woods subdivision.

The project is expected to include road resurfacing and sidewalk replacement.

“It’s a big project,” Warwick said.

Last summer, the village held off on road projects and opted to do patch work instead, Trustee Suzanne Blohm said.

Each year, the village rates and picks roads based on which ones need the most work and fit within the budget, Blohm said.

The village made some changes in the accounting of its money, by separating capital funds from general operating funds, Blohm said.

This will allow the village to better keep track of the two types of funds, Blohm said.

“We have a new administrator and a new finance [director], and they bring their expertise to this budget,” Blohm said. “It’s the way they’re used to doing accounting, and it makes it easier for the Village Board to have a better understanding.”

It also allows for better long-term planning and to see how much money is available for capital projects, Warwick said.

Blohm said there will be a concerted effort to invest money back into the community in roads, parks and downtown redevelopment.

The village is budgeting $500,000 for economic development projects, such as a facade improvement program for businesses.

The village budgeted $10,000 for a 50/50 tree replacement program, but the specifics of the program still need to be worked out, Warwick said.

There is $50,000 budgeted for park improvements, including $30,000 to make parks more handicapped accessible. The village also budgeted $60,000 to pave the Lions Park parking lot, which currently is a gravel lot, Warwick said.

Warwick said Fox River Grove is increasing its budget to $15,000 from $5,000 for sidewalk replacement, and plans to start a 50/50 sidewalk replacement program for residents who wish to replace their sidewalks for aesthetic reasons.

Also included in the budget is $3.4 million from reserves to build a new public works facility. However, construction of the facility has been on hold as a court case involving that project is pending.

The final budget is scheduled to be voted on at the Fox River Grove Village Board’s April meeting.

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