Oswego by the numbers : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
|Oswego by the numbers|
|First ever annual report shows village received 13,000 calls in '11|
|by John Etheredge|
The Village of Oswego puts a lot of information about municipal services on its website and disperses updated information via email bulletins, Facebook and Twitter daily, but that doesn't mean that people aren't still calling village hall to get questions answered by village staffers.
Dwight Baird, the village's interim village administrator, told the village board last week that village staff answered an estimated 13,000 telephone inquires concerning village services last year.
The telephone call estimate is contained in the first-ever published annual report for the village compiled at Baird's direction by Michele Bergeron, the village's community relations coordinator, staff member Tia Brooks and Tina Touchette, an executive assistant.
Individual departmental reports contained in the 67 page document were authored by the department heads, Baird noted.
Baird said he sought to have the report prepared to provide the board and village residents with information concerning village governmental operations.
"I think it is a worthwhile document," he said, adding, "It shows what went on (in 2011) and where the tax dollars go."
Village President Brian LeClercq commended Baird and village staff for preparing the report.
"I think it paints a real good picture of what actually local government is doing," LeClercq said, adding, "It gives people a better picture of what's going on and maybe someone will see something that will help us do something better or look at things differently."
Baird noted the wide variety of information in the report could potentially help village efforts to attract new businesses to the community.
Other 2011 highlights that are contained in the report include:
_ The Kendall County Clerk's Office was notified of 280 property foreclosures in the village in 2011, 52 fewer than the 332 foreclosures reported by the clerk's office in the village in 2011.
_910 businesses are currently registered to operate in the village, nearly twice as many as the 510 registered in 2008.
_The building and zoning department issued 87 permits for new single family homes in 2011, four more than the 83 issued in 2010. In addition, 24 permits were issued for attached single family homes last year.
_The building and zoning department issued 1,077 building permits and completed over 3,000 inspections last year.
_The village's public works department spent $708,000 in state reimbursed Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) funds to resurface village streets and collected 3,370 cubic yards of leaves last fall at no direct charge to village residents.
_The public works department maintains approximately 120 lane miles of roads. In 2011, public works staffers logged 1,372 hours of snow plowing village streets and 130 hours spreading salt.
_The public works department maintains 2,100 street lights and used over 1,400 tons of salt to keep roads safe for travel last year.
_The water department pumped over five billion gallons of water to village water customers.
_The total year expenses for government activities declined by $100,000 and the village maintained a cash reserve of over $4 million.
_Village police responded to 22,812 calls for service, provided 4,470 separate incident reports and made over 1,100 arrests.
_Approximately one-third of the village's 113 employees live within municipal limits and only ten percent have worked for the village longer than 15 years.
_As of the end of 2011, 21 percent of the village's full-time employees lived in Yorkville and 12 percent lived in Montgomery.
Baird noted village staff began to grow about 15 years ago as residential and commercial development began to boom in the village.
_The village launched its own, in-house economic development department, headed by Tony Lucenko. The report shows that between Sept. 6 and Dec. 31, Lucenko completed 134 local businesses "retention visits contacts."
_The village's comprehensive planning area covers approximately 37 square miles, including 23 square miles of yet to be developed property.
"People may think Oswego is fully grown, but we're not. We're probably between one quarter and one-third done. The decisions we make now can definitely affect the future," Baird said.
_More people are using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request and obtained public documents from the village.
The village's clerk's office received 224 requests for documents under FOIA last year, five more than the 219 requests received in 2010 and nearly double the 125 received in 2009.
Baird attributed the rise in FOIA requests to a combination of greater awareness about the availability of public records and an increased interest in government at all levels.
"I think all government (agencies) are under increased scrutiny and people want more information-which is fine," he said, adding, "I commend people who take an interest and want to check into public records."
The full report can be viewed on the village's website at oswegoil.org.