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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lombard, IL - Official Site

Lombard, IL - Official Site

2013 "State of the Village" Address

Delivered by Lombard’s Acting Village President, William “Bill” Ware on February 20, 2013 at the Lombard Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Luncheon, held at the Harry Caray’s Restaurant, Lombard.

Good afternoon and thank you for attending today’s luncheon. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Bill Ware and I have the honor and privilege of currently serving not only as a Trustee of District 6, but also as Acting Village President until May. I appreciate this opportunity to deliver the 2013 State of the Village address.
To begin with, I would like to introduce my fellow Village Board members who are in attendance and thank them for the dedication and service to the Village of Lombard:
Brigitte O’Brien—Village Clerk
Greg Gron—Trustee, District 1
Keith Giagnorio—Trustee, District 2
Zach Wilson—Trustee, District 3
Peter Breen—Trustee, District 4 and
Laura Fitzpatrick—Trustee, District 5
Next, I’d like to introduce and recognize the Village staff. We depend on their professional skills and talents to serve our residents and business community. Thank you to our staff members:
Dave Hulseberg—Village Manager
Nicole Aranas—Assistant Village Manager
Tim Sexton—Finance Director
Bill Heniff—Community Development Director
Ray Byrne—Police Chief
Paul DiRienzo—Fire Chief
Carl Goldsmith—Public Works Director
Lastly, but most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Barbara, who is here today, for supporting me and standing by my side.
Together our Village Board, Department Heads, Village staff and volunteers, work very hard to deliver quality governmental services to the residents and business community of Lombard.
Today’s State of the Village address will be a change from the last one that you probably saw. The last 19 were delivered by our late Village President Bill Mueller, whom we greatly miss. This change in leadership has not been easy for us as a Village. We are in a transitional period right now as we gear up for the April election in which we will elect a new leader for our community. And that will be a change.
Today’s State of the Village address will include the progress the Village has made during the past year. I will also share our goals for the future and ask you all to join with me and embrace the changes with which we are faced. As journalist Gail (SHE he) Sheehy said, “If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.” Please embrace the changes that we are faced with as a community and grow with us.
During the past year, our Village changed over from a fiscal year to a calendar year. This required much planning and organization to keep us on track for the change. I am pleased to report that we are in our first calendar year cycle and things are running smoothly.
The Village Board and management staff have identified 3 priorities of the coming year, one of which is to maintain the established level of service provided to the residents and businesses in Lombard, while ensuring the most cost effective means of service delivery. It is our pledge to you that we as a Village will strive to do that in every way, every day.
• One change this year is the elimination of Village vehicle stickers. Our Finance Department continues to maintain a balanced budget, doing so while even eliminating this expense for residents in the upcoming year.
• All departments continue to look at the most cost-effective and efficient way of delivering services to the Village. As employees move on from the Village into other positions or retire as part of an early retirement incentive that the Village has offered, the Village is looking at each position creatively to secure the best and most fiscally responsible replacements.
• Another significant change for our employees is the adopting of a new software system that was implemented in January. The new system enables residents and businesses the ability to now pay their waters bill online. The goal is to provide 24/7 online access for all interactions with the Village for residents and businesses.
• The Village bid out electricity for all residents and small businesses,
resulting in a significant decrease in the cost of electricity. The Village received a rate of 4.64¢ per kilowatt hour, versus the ComEd rate of 8.36¢ per kilowatt hour. The estimated annualized community-wide savings is $4.5 million. And that’s no small change.
• The Village of Lombard receives one of the smaller shares of property tax of any taxing district. The Village’s property tax as a percentage of each property owner’s tax bill is less than 8% of the total tax bill, meaning that less than 8 cents of every dollar paid in property taxes will go to the Village. As a Village we continue to work toward making sure that we are the best value we can be to our residents and business community.
___________________THANK YOU______________________________
• Handled just under 19,000 calls to 9-1-1 in 2012, just slightly down from the number of calls for service in 2011.
• Introduced a new program – Senior Citizen’s Police Academy--where we brought our popular Citizen’s Police Academy program on the road to senior living communities in the Village.
• Graduated our 22nd Citizen’s Police Academy class. Interested in taking this class? The next one begins in March. Inquire at the Police Department.
• Continued efforts of sharing resources by joining the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System Mobile Field Force, a contingent of officers specially trained in the areas of crowd control and mass arrest situations
• Extensive preparations and intelligence analysis for the NATO / G8
Summits, as well as being the host hotel for the Ryder Cup.
• Participated in our 2nd Annual National Night Out in conjunction with the Lombard Park District and Target.
• With the assistance of federal funding, significantly upgraded our radios and communication systems to a statewide inter-operable system.
___________________THANK YOU______________________________
• 2013 marks 100 years of service to our community for the Lombard Fire Department. The Centennial celebration will be remembered throughout the year and is currently being featured at the Lombard Historical Society.
• Change brings opportunity and a change in leadership in the Fire Department brought Chief Paul DiRienzo as Lombard’s new Fire Chief. Chief DiRienzo was sworn in last September and became the 15th Fire Chief in Lombard’s 100 year history. A 30-year veteran of our Fire Department, Chief DiRienzo’s experience will bring new opportunities to our Fire Department as he continues to lead our Fire Department forward into the next 100 years.
• In calendar year 2012, the Fire Department responded to 7,917calls, an increase of 2.5% over last year.
• Over the last year our Firefighters/Paramedics have been recognized by both Elmhurst and Good Samaritan Hospitals for outstanding emergency medical response and treatment of our citizens.
• Lombard’s Fire Department has continued to work together with our neighboring communities to ensure the highest level of fire and emergency medical
service and maximize use of available resources.
These are some of the ways we are aiming to deliver the same quality services to our residents and business community through our Fire Department, one of the best if not the best in DuPage County.
___________________THANK YOU______________________________
A second priority of the Village Board of the upcoming year is to aggressively approach flood issues. The Public Works Department is making every effort to keep this priority in the forefront of its planning and implementation of upcoming and ongoing project.
• The Public Works Department responded to the July 1, 2012 Wind Storm with full forces. The Village experienced one of the most destructive wind storms in the community’s history. The Village lost hundreds of trees and had power interrupted to approximately one third of the community. The Department implemented a mutual aid call-out throughout Illinois. The Village received support from six agencies and this use of the mutual aid helped to save us approximately $215,000.
• The Lombard Public Works Department managed multiple projects related to stormwater and sanitary sewer improvements. In total, the Village has developed/implemented projects with an estimated budget of $9,495,686 that will be completed within the next two years. Work was completed on the following improvements during 2012:
• Grace & Central Stormwater Pump Station
• Kenilworth Stormwater Pump Station
• Vista Pond Pump Station
• Old Town Lift Station
• Cambria Lift Station
• Elizabeth Morris Lift Station
• Finley Road Pond Expansion – The removal of about 1,700 cubic yards of materials from the pond were re-used in the construction of the Great Western Trail bridges, saving the Village money and providing a greener alternative.
• As part of the ongoing efforts to improve stormwater management in Lombard, the Village has acquired two properties for the purpose of constructing a new Stormwater Pumping Station along Route 53. The new facility will increase peak flow capacity by 240%.
The estimated cost for the construction of the new station is $5.5 million dollars. The project is anticipated to be constructed in 2014.
• Public Works continued to emphasize cost control and cost reduction strategies related to snow and ice control. The Department continued its efforts to utilize pre-treatments of pavement in advance of snow events to reduce the use of rock salt and overtime. The Village acquired a Bobcat Toolcat for the purpose of reducing contractual services related to snow and ice control at the Village Hall complex. This purchase will reduce costs and improve services provided to the public.
• Public Works oversaw the construction of the Great Western Trail Bridges over Grace Street, the Union Pacific Railroad and St. Charles Road. The bridges were constructed using Federal, State, County and local TIF funds. The bridges incorporate many design elements from the “Lombard Downtown Revitalization Project Guidebook”
adopted by the Village Board. The bridges provide safe and efficient access to parks, downtown and serve as an important link of the trail systems in DuPage County. The bridges will be completed in spring and a ribbon cutting event to official open them will be held May 25, 2013.
___________________THANK YOU______________________________
A third priority of the Village Board of the upcoming year is to focus on Downtown improvements. As Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” To that end, the Community Development department will be taking one of the leads in the area of improving our Downtown, along with Lombard Town Centre.
• Community Development will continue a leadership role in pursuing development opportunities in the downtown and the downtown perimeter.
• CD will also continue to implement economic development strategies within the adopted Economic Strategies Report, with a focus on addressing larger building vacancies.
• Promoting the adoption and implementation activities as set forth within the Lombard Comprehensive Plan will also be a major focus of the Department. Staff has a great deal of interaction with the business community and strives to make doing business in Lombard as easy as possible.
• Staff is working toward exceeding customer service demands in working with our business community. With the use of new technology and enhancing processes, streamlining the processes is the goal.
• Community Development will also continue to ensure new development meets or exceeds professional engineering standards, with additional exploration for creating a Stormwater Utility Fee concept, which I will talk about in a minute.
___________________THANK YOU______________________________
Where do we go from here? What changes or opportunities lie ahead in the future? There are a few that I’d like to make you all aware of today.
1. Opportunities in Business
• Braxton Furniture (old Plunkett Furniture site)
• K-Mart Property, an open opportunity for retail
• The Dump (old Great Indoors site)
2. Waste Transfer Station
• Opportunity for increased Village Revenue
• Lower garbage bills for residents
3. Stormwater Fee, which I mentioned earlier…
• Fund stormwater costs with a fee based on the amount of hard surface of a property
• Currently, stormwater costs are funded through the water and sewer rate, which is based on the amount of water consumed at a property
• The amount of water consumed does not necessarily correlate to the property’s impact on the stormwater system
• Residential properties generally have a higher consumption of water and
lower impact on the stormwater system
• Commercial properties generally have a lower consumption of water, but a significantly higher impact of the stormwater system
• Stormwater fee would be a more equitable system of assessing the costs
4. Parking Fund and needed maintenance
• In 2012, staff prepared a report identifying current and future costs relative to the maintenance, expansion or upgrading of commuter parking facilities. The Village Board will be exploring this further in 2013.
5. Pedestrian Underpass
Village staff has been working with the UP and Metra on the proposed pedestrian tunnel for downtown Lombard, to be constructed this year. The tunnel will be located at Park Avenue & Michael McGuire Drive and will extend under the railroad tracks to Parkside. As part of the project, UP and Metra will be installing new ADA compliant ramps and stairs to the platform and tunnel, as well as improving the amenities offered to commuters. One of the most significant improvements is the construction of roof canopies over the platform areas on both the north and south platforms. The project will also result in the elimination of the at-grade track crossings for commuters. The estimated cost of the project is $5.5 million with the Village contributing for aesthetic improvements and security camera upgrades. The Village’s contribution is estimated at $150,000.
In closing, I wish to thank the Lombard Chamber of Commerce and Yvonne Invergo for hosting this event. I’d like to thank the Village staff in attendance for their
support and all of you from the business community for your patience and attention today.
Lastly, in the words of the great John F. Kennedy, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Together, we can all make the future of Lombard better and brighter. Thank you.
                                           Village Hall, 225 East Wilson Ave., Lombard IL

                                           Village of Lombard, York Township, DuPage County, Illinois 60148 USA

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