Oak Park discusses capital spending
Updated: October 28, 2012 6:52AM
OAK PARK — Finance committee members took up capital improvement spending as part of their ongoing discussion of Oak Park’s 2013 budget.
Among items discussed Monday by Oak Park’s finance committee was employment of five full-time engineers. Trustee John Hedges asked if having in-house employees was the most cost-effective way to go.
Having in-house engineers, staff responded, was more efficient than contracting the work out.
“They are extremely efficient,” Pubic Works Director John Wielebnicki said.
Within the budget, a ranking of Oak Park’s streets and alleys will be pushed to 2014.
Oak Park’s local streets are ranking at 69.7 percent, with an overall score at 70.5 percent. Wielebnicki said around 70 percent is ideal.
“We’re at a pretty good place to be,” he said.
In 2014, costs should rise due to planned road projects along Ridgeland and Washington.
Last year, $100,000 was reserved in the village’s capital fund for public art. Wielebnicki proposed that number be cut to $70,000, with $30,000 transferred to the operating budget.
Pope said $100,000 must still go public art.
The village is considering six new police vehicles, though a meeting on Oct. 3 will be held to further discuss the matter.
The Garfield Tax Increment Finance fund was also discussed. Business Services Manager Loretta Daly said staff would like to consider safety improvements from Home to Harlem Avenue, including enhanced street lighting.
Interim Village Manager Cara Pavlicek ended Monday’s discussion with the proposed Department of Community and Economic Development director’s position.
She suggested the position be an umbrella for the Building and Property Standards Department, Business Services, Housing and Planning Division.
Pope believed discussion of the position may need to wait until a permanent village manager is hired. Trustee Glenn Brewer disagreed.
“Whoever is selected, this discussion is not going to change,” Brewer said. “We need to have this discussion now.”~.