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Virtual meeting, Monday open house give Flossmoor residents insights on Nov. 3 referendum

Flossmoor residents had the opportunity to learn more about the village’s bond referendum during a recent Zoom meeting Wednesday that included a presentation by village staff and time for a question-and-answer session.

But with only one resident — and the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle — in the virtual crowd, officials gave something of a private virtual rundown of the basics regarding the Nov. 3 referendum, which seeks authorization from residents to issue $10 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements. Specifically, the plan calls for work on drainage issues near the Flossmoor Road viaduct as well as flooding problems in the Heather Hill area and the neighborhood north of downtown, as well as street and sidewalk work as the money allows.

Mayor Paul Braun noted the virtual meeting was one of several efforts the village is making to ensure residents are as informed as possible before casting their ballots in the Nov. 3 election. That effort has included a newsletter, social media posts and door hangers, he said.

Organizations also can ask village officials to make presentations on the referendum. An in-person open house on the subject is slated for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

During the virtual session, Braun went over the basics of bond issuance, showed images of flooding he said has picked up in both severity and frequency in recent years, and images of streets in need of rehabilitation.

“The longer we wait, the more expensive these projects are going to be,” he said. “Addressing flooding is a priority of the village board.”

He also explained that the village is seeking grants for flooding fixes, and the idea is that if Flossmoor is successful in securing grants, that leaves more bond money to be put toward streets.

One reason the village board put the referendum on the ballot now is because the 20-year bonds that helped pay for construction of the Flossmoor Public Library will be paid off in 2021. If the referendum passes, the sale of general obligation bonds will basically be a replacement on the tax bill for the library bonds.

Officials displayed a chart outlining the expected increases in how the bond sales are likely to impact the tax levy. For a household that pays $7,500 in property taxes annually, for instance, the library bond debt levy costs $114.47. The infrastructure levy is estimated at $118.55, or a change of just over $4.

Braun also showed the question as it appears on the ballot and encouraged residents, with voting now underway, to make sure the referendum is on their ballots if they are Flossmoor residents. He said to request the proper ballot if it is not.

Following the presentation, resident Denise Nobles asked about the village’s 2017 road assessment study, specifically what percentage of roads achieved a “failed” rate and how many were considered “poor.”

Public Works Director John Brunke said Brumley Road was the only street that was identified as “failed” and would be first on the list to be resurfaced. A full list of the ratings and at what funding levels that would be addressed can be found here.

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