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Columnist
Carpentersville trustees between rock and proposed tax increase
By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 10/5/2009 12:07 AM

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The recent announcement that the village of Carpentersville could raise property tax rates in order to pay down debt the village will incur to build a new public works facility ruffled some feathers.

Understandably so. The village board members most recently elected to trustee terms in the April election circulated campaign literature that said they would wait until the economy recovers to finance and build a public works facility.

Even though the candidates - Ed Ritter, Kay Teeter, Bradford McFeggan and Patricia Schultz - said at the time the current building is inadequate, the slate of Carpentersville Cares chided then Village President Bill Sarto for supporting the project.

Fast forward about six months and the candidates who are now board members change their tune much to the chagrin of some residents.

I get why residents are up in arms. The village is estimating a $20- to $22 million bond to pay for the building and various road improvement projects throughout the village.

While the actual property tax increase is not known at this time, the village says it needs to move on the project now to take advantage of low interest rates and government subsidies to help municipalities get capital improvement projects off the ground.

I would have to agree with the village's strategy. No one likes a politician who reneges on a campaign promise. But I would rather see my elected officials make decisions that could potentially save me money in the long run and cost a little extra in the short term, than have village leaders sit on their hands. If breaking a campaign promise means saving constituents some money, I wouldn't fault trustees.

If the village waits another year or two to get the ball rolling on a new public works facility, the chances are interest rates would have increased, bond markets shrunk and government incentives dried up. That would amount to even higher property tax increases that could have been minimized or avoided.

The village is hosting a special meeting about the proposed public works facility at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 at the public works site, 220 Lake Marian Road, to present information on the new Public Works Facility being planned for construction on the vacant Village-owned property northwest of the intersection of Wilmette Avenue and Cleveland Avenue.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to learn more about the need for the new facility, how it will improve operations, how its construction will be funded, and preliminary design concepts.

• Larissa Chinwah covers Carpentersville, East and West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow and Dundee township.