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5-Year capital finance plan presented to Homewood board

Replacement of the decaying fence along 183rd Street near the viaduct is one of the projects listed on Homewood’s proposed five-year capital projects budget. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Finances shared the spotlight with children’s safety at the April 9 meeting of the Homewood Village Board of Trustees.

Amy Zukowski, director of finance, presented the board and meeting attendees with a five-year Capital Improvement Plan outlining expenditures that her department anticipates over that period with input from department heads.

Zukowski said the $33.5-million plan is based on the village’s current capital budget for 2024-25 as Year One. The plan recommends that the village move forward with the planned 2024 bond issue for $2 million, and she anticipated a need to move forward with another bond issue in 2027.

Zukowski cited several pressing needs in coming years that would require major outlays, including a new fire truck estimated to cost $1 million and street repairs.

A new central water tower is projected at $4.5 million and federally mandated replacement of lead water lines is expected to cost $30 million over 17 years and will be paid for from the water and sewer fund. Zukowski suggested the board consider a study on water rates to determine if a future increase would be necessary.

Those costs all are on top of expected capital expenditures such as new vehicles and street improvements. 

Zukowski said the full proposed 2024-25 budget will be presented at the next board meeting on Tuesday, April 27.

The board members were unanimous in their appreciation for the detailed planning. Trustee Lauren Roman said, however, that she hoped some of the allocations could be shuffled to address the street safety needs.

She echoed the comments made earlier by two residents who made pleas for the village to address traffic safety near Churchill School, where a girl had been hit by a car earlier in the day.

Resident Bob Griffith complained that drivers regularly speed on Center Street by the school. He asked that the village at least consider erecting stop signs at intersections near the school. He said that the intersections of Jonathan Lane and Center Avenue and Jamie Lane and Center are especially dangerous.

Kevin Crabtree, another resident, also asked the village to make traffic control on streets near any school a priority, and asked if speed bumps could be considered for the area around Churchill School.

Crabtree also said he is worried that the plans for a road diet to control speeds on 183rd Street will drive more traffic onto the side streets, making them even more dangerous.

These weighty topics were leavened by the presentation of a proclamation honoring the Homewood-Flossmoor boys basketball team for winning the state 4A championship. The proclamation led to a lighthearted Nerf hoops challenge between H-F Coach Jamere Dismukes and Noah Schumerth, the village’s assistant director of economic and community development. 

H-F basketball coach Jamere Dismukes takes part in the Nerf hoops challenge during the board meeting. (Randall Weissman/H-F Chronicle)

In other business, the board approved an extension to the letter of agreement between the village and the developers of the new Rabid Ground Brewery site. The six-month extension to November 2024 was needed because the developers had encountered some issues that are taking longer than expected to correct. Rabid Brewery intends to relocate from the east end of the village to the Park West Plaza at 3003 – 3025 183rd St. on the west end of town and is doing major remodeling work at the site.

More information:

Proposed Homewood 5-year capital budget by priority
Proposed Homewood 5-year capital budget by funding source

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