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Montgomery approves road condition study : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Montgomery approves road condition study
Firm to use 'road surface laser technology' to evaluate local streets

by John Etheredge


An engineering firm will update a condition study of Montgomery streets later this year as a result of action taken by the village board Monday evening.

The board voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI), of Sugar Grove to complete the study at a total cost of $79,870.

In a memo to the board, Mike Pubentz, the village's director of public works, noted the village first studied the condition of local streets in 2003. The village then developed a pavement management system which has been used to develop a multi-year roadway rehabilitation plan.

Pubentz said it was recommended the study be updated every five years and the last update occurred in 2008.

In his memo, Pubentz noted that EEI will update the study using "electronic data collection vehicles."

In a letter to Jeff Zoephel, village administrator, Peter Wallers, EEI president, said his firm plans to utilize the services of a sub-consultant firm that will "utilize road surface laser technology" to evaluate village streets.

The laser technology will provide the village with information on both the "surface condition and quality of the underlying roadway materials" on each village street, according to Wallers.

He added that EEI plans to begin the roadway evaluations this spring with the presentation of a final report to the board expected in the fall.

When questioned by board members, Wallers and Pubentz confirmed all 75 miles of village streets will be evaluated for their condition as part of the study.

The board vote to hire EEI to update the study comes one month after they unanimously agreed to seek voter approval of a sales tax increase referendum to provide funding for the annual street maintenance program and other capitol projects.

During a Feb. 10 meeting, Wallers told board members the village will need an additional $1.8 million to $2.3 million annually to maintain the village's streets.

Wallers noted the number of streets requiring maintenance in the village has increased dramatically since 2000 due to the development of several new subdivisions on the village's far west side.

The board has yet to determine how much of a sales tax increase they will ask voters to approve, but Jeff Zoephel, village administrator, has recommended the board seek a one percent increase.

The village's current sales tax rate is seven percent in the Kane County portion of the village and 7.25 percent in the Kendall County portion. The two rates are lower than the rates currently charged in Oswego (7.75 percent), Aurora (8.25 percent) and Yorkville (8.25 percent).

The board is expected to pass a resolution during their May 12 meeting formally placing the referendum on the ballot.

Justin VanVooren, the village's finance director, said each one-quarter of a percent increase in the sales tax would generate approximately $425,000 annually in new revenue for the village. Based on VanVooren's calculations, the village would receive an estimated $1.7 million in additional revenues annually.

In voicing support for seeking passage of sales tax referendum, Village President Matt Brolley noted the village does not have enough revenue available to maintain all of its streets.

Brolley noted the board and village staff have considered but ruled out three or four other options to raise revenues, including a village vehicle sticker program and passage of a Home Rule referendum. Home Rule status would give the village greater local regulatory authority along with the ability to increase the sales tax without seeking voter approval in a referendum.

"As I've said before, I believe asking our voters to approve a sales tax referendum would be least burdensome upon our residents," Brolley said.

He noted that the sales tax is paid not only by village residents when they shop in local stores, but also by shoppers who live outside the village.

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