The Rumor Mill
Welcome to the Village of Homer Glen Rumor Mill! This page is designed to answer common questions and address misinformation about Village projects and initiatives. See a rumor you want to get to the bottom of? Have a question about something you've heard? Click the button below to ask a question!
I heard Homer Township is now working with the Village and the lawsuit has been dropped. Is this true? (3.1.21)
This is not true. The Township's lawsuit is still filed in Will County Circuit Court and on Wednesday, February 24 the Township filed a motion to suspend the briefing schedule and file a first amended complaint. This action clearly indicates the Township's desire to continue fighting the transfer of stewardship. Read the court documents on the Transfer of Stewardship page.
Is there a residency requirement by the Village of Homer Glen that requires the Mayor and Village Trustees to actually reside (not just own property) in Homer Glen? (2.23.21)
Yes, there is a residency requirement for Village officials. State law requires that candidates have established at least one year of residency in the municipality they represent.
I am wondering about the 'kickback' to the Village in the garbage contract. Is this just another way to take money from residents of the Village? (2.9.21)
The village's contract with Homewood Disposal has always had a revenue sharing component included. This is similar to a typical franchise fee, where we allow/authorize one company to offer its services to the entire community, which is provided for via State Law. This fee can be paid in many different forms, some pay a flat fee for the franchise agreement, others share revenue, and others due a hybrid mix. In our case, we do a hybrid mix - revenue sharing, reduced rates for our seniors, and in-kind services for free. If you are over the age of 65, you will be able to take advantage of this - as you will now be able to receive a $4/month discount for pickup AND your first year of the contract extension rates will be frozen.
It is also important to mention that these fees paid by Homewood Disposal to the Village are for the community. We receive these funds and use them to pay for other village services, such as our public safety contract with Will County Sheriff department. We also use them for environmental and sustainability projects/programs. The term "kickback" is unfair and does not accurately represent the Village nor the Village Board.
What is the village doing to help local seniors get vaccinated? Other Villages are setting up mass vaccination centers for their residents. (2.9.21)
Mayor Yukich proactively reached out to both of our Will County representatives to get additional information on the County's plan for vaccinations in Homer Glen. We also had a meeting with the Will County public health department about their plan and offered to assist with anything that we could. The other villages that have mass vaccination centers are not located in Will County and these sites are being offered by their county health departments. We stand ready to help, as well. However, we do not have access to the vaccinations nor the authority to plan them - this rests 100% with Will County. Here is a website that discusses their current efforts: willcountyhealth.org.
Why was the extension of the contract with Homewood Disposal tabled at the last board meeting? (01.29.21)
Trustee Caprio requested the item to be tabled, as he had recently been unavailable and was not able to review the information that was presented at the Administration & Finance Committee held on January 5, 2021, where this agenda item was discussed and recommended for approval.
Why is the Village considering extending the garbage contract with Homewood Disposal without going out to bid/RFP? (01.29.21)
In 2008, the Village entered into its first contract with Homewood Disposal to provide one consolidated garbage provider to the entire community. In 2016, the Village extended this contract for another 5 years. This contract will expire on June 30, 2021.
The current contract with Homewood Disposal allows for the contract to be extended by consent of both parties. However, the Village has been able to negotiate additional terms to the contract that provide enhanced services to the community. In particular, the contract will increase the senior citizen discount from $3/month to $4/month and will also allow for curbside e-waste pickup at a cost of $.50/month (monitors, computers, televisions, etc.) which is not currently offered in Homer Glen.
The contract also provides for free services to the community for HomerFest and all of our special events. These free services include both garbage pickup, portable restrooms and attendants on duty.
The contract provides for revenue sharing with the Village over the term of the extension. Under the original contract, this was 1.75%; with the extension it will be 2% for years 1-3 and 2.25% for years 4-5. These funds support the village operations and are reinvested back into the community.
The current monthly unit rate for single family pick-up, including garbage, recycling and yard waste is $25.82. The current contract also increased rates by 2% annually. Below are the proposed rates for the next five years, which represents a 2.5% increase for years 1-3; and a 3% increase for years 4-5. As reflected below, the total increase over 5 years is $3.68.
SINGLE FAMILY Garbage, Recycling and Yard waste
Contract Year Rate: Monthly Unit Rate: Proposed Increase:
Current Rate - Thru 6/30/2021 $25.82
07/01/2021 thru 6/30/2022 $26.47 $0.65
07/01/2022 thru 6/30/2023 $27.13 $0.66
07/01/2023 thru 6/30/2024 $27.81 $0.68
07/01/2024 thru 6/30/2025 $28.64 $0.83
07/01/2025 thru 6/30/2026 $29.50 $0.86
When reviewing these proposed rates, the Village compared them against other similar peer communities. This review found that Homer Glen’s contract terms are both fair and competitive. As an example, below are the current rates and annual contract increases for Lemont and Lockport:
It should also be noted that both of these communities also renewed their existing contracts with their current contract (Waste Management) without re-bidding. Their contracts also do not provide some of the additional concessions that Homer Glen’s does (senior discount, revenue sharing, events, etc.)
When evaluating contractual services, the village does not just consider financial metrics, we also look at delivery service, customer service levels and corporate stewardship. When the Village entered into the original contract with Homewood Disposal in 2016, the entire centralized garbage contract had to be created, including the set-up and coordination of billing, delivery of garbage containers, and pick-up schedules. As such, resident disruption must also be considered when evaluating the extension of the contract. Changing vendors would result in a significant impact to the community, while also likely resulting in less services provided. These start-up costs are sunk costs that have already been provided by Homewood Disposal. A new company would incur these costs, which would be passed on to our community.
Finally, the level of customer service is also evaluated. Homewood Disposal’s level of customer service for the last five years has been excellent. Their services have met the expectation of the community and they have been an outstanding corporate partner with the Village.
During the last year, due to the pandemic, Homewood Disposal’s collections have increased 25%. This is due to the large number of people working from home and our families staying home more. This has created a great strain on their operations but they have still met our community’s needs and provided great service and fair and competitive rates.
For all of the reasons and analysis provided, this is why the Village is extending the existing contract with Homewood Disposal.
If there are no plans for a Sportsplex why was it included in the recent draft of the comprehensive plan?
There currently are no proposals or plans to build a sports complex in the Village. The Village Board commissioned a study, in conjunction with the private sector, to explore the feasibility of such a complex in Homer Glen in 2019. This is a matter of public record. Reference to such a possible project is included in the Comprehensive Plan as a potential location for such a complex. The plan recommends the continued exploration and study of a potential complex and complementary businesses. Any sports complex would require significant private investment and owners to build, and the development would have to submit plans for approval, like any other project would be required to do.
The Village has been accused of not engaging with the public regarding the draft of the Village’s updated Comprehensive Plan.
This is not true. The Village has been collecting public responses since the summer of 2019. View the public outreach and engagement activities for this project here.
The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee was made up of only the Village Manager and two trustees.
This is not true. The steering committee was made up of Village Trustees, the Village Manager, several staff members and the Vice Chair of Plan Commission (a community volunteer). Members of other Village volunteer committees (Parks & Recreation, Community & Economic Development, Environment) were invited to each of the stakeholder meetings to provide input and comments on the plan. All large projects need a steering committee, to ensure the project timelines are being adhered to and progress is being made. The steering committee does NOT replace public input nor do they draft the plan.
After the November 19 public hearing, the Village and the Plan Commission refused to make changes to the plan, based upon dozens of resident’s input at the meeting. Then at the January 7 meeting they still refused to make changes.
This is not true. The meeting on November 19 was a legally posted public hearing. The purpose of a public hearing, is to get public input - which occurred. This same public hearing was then continued (not closed) to January 7. This means this is the same public hearing opened on November 19. The document cannot be legally changed or voted on, until the public hearing is closed. Which it was not. However, at the January 7 meeting, there was acknowledgement and even recommendations made by staff and the consultants on possible changes to the draft, after the public hearing was closed.
These changes were recommended based upon the additional public input received. View a list of the proposed revisions here on page 20. The Plan Commission took the public comment as part of the public hearing and did not vote on the Plan. This was done in anticipation of changes being made to the document. The revised plan will be made available on the Village website and Comprehensive Plan website for public review prior to any future meetings on the plan.
The Village is just now saying the Comprehensive Plan is a “draft”, when really it was not.
This is not true. The document has always been marked as a draft.
The new proposed Road District and associated first-time property tax to support the road district transfer was rushed through approval in November and December.
This is not true. The Village publicly announced in July their desire to transfer stewardship of the road district. All information about the proposed transfer, including the property tax to support the transfer, was included on the Village’s website, the Village’s Facebook page, Channel 6, and in the newsletter directly mailed to all homes in the Village. Additionally, two public informational meetings were held, both at Village Hall but also accessible via Zoom, to the entire public. Lastly, another public hearing was held in December prior to the Village Board’s approval of the transfer. For information about this project visit the Road District Transfer Page.
Will the traffic from 143rd Street be rerouted to 139th Street during the 143rd street construction? We are concerned about traffic and speeding in our neighborhood.
The 143rd Street Traffic will not be rerouted to 139th Street. During the construction of 143rd Street, two lanes of traffic will be maintained. However, some of the side streets, such as Parker Road, Crème Road and Golden Oak will have partial closures, where they may only be open for northbound traffic, then southbound traffic, etc., depending on the leg of the intersection that is under construction. This is due to the minimal right-of-way that is available at these locations, which would not make it possible to keep two directions of traffic open at all times.
Several weeks ago, there was a meeting with the County, both Fire Districts, Will County Sheriff, EMA and Village Staff to discuss the traffic.
We have heard that the Purple Onion restaurant has been sold. The property has been vacant since the start of the pandemic. What is the future plan for it?
Yes, the Purple Onion property has been sold. There have been no formal plans submitted to the Village at this time for the space.
I heard that when the Village takes over the Illinois American Water (IAW) line that our bill will go up $50 a month! What is going on with the IAW lawsuit?
Any statements about the monthly water rates following Village acquisition of the IAW pipelines are not factual. The Village, along with the Northern Will County Water Agency (NWCWA) are still engaged in a lawsuit against IAW. The trial date has been delayed several times due to COVID-19, and is now scheduled for May 2021. The trial will set the cost of the transmission lines, and the NWCWA will then determine whether to proceed forward and how to fund the cost of acquisition. Any determination about water rates will not be made until after the service lines are actually acquired.
Why did the Village vote for a first-ever Homer Glen property tax? Can we get a do over?
The Village Board approved a $1.5 million property tax levy on December 9, 2020. The property tax levy is necessary to fund the operations of Village's new Public Works Department. Currently, public work services for the Village are provided by the Homer Township Road District. The Village has no control over the service, budget or staff of the district, despite the Village owning the roads and being responsible to our village residents and property owners. This year, the Village and Road District are transferring the stewardship of the roads back to the Village - meaning the Village will now own, control and oversee the equipment, property and operations. This will result in the creation of the Village’s first Public Works Department, which will be accountable to the Village Board and the Village of Homer Glen residents.
Currently, residents pay property tax to the Road District for these services. The Village will need its own revenue source for the Public Works Department. Village property owners will now see this on their real estate taxes, but they will also see a significant decrease in the amount taxed by the Homer Township Road District, therefore effectively shifting to the Village line item on the tax bill. The tax rate will increase slightly on Homer Glen residents, because these services have been subsidized by Lockport, Lemont and New Lenox residents that have been taxed by the Homer Township Road District without receiving services. Without this subsidy, the cost of operations is shared by less residents, causing an increase in tax rates for Homer Glen residents. This shifting of line items on the property tax bill will start this year and should be completed by 2022. The estimated increase to a Village property tax bill is approximately $57.00 per $100,000 of market value. The Village will not know the exact amount until this Spring, when Will County sets the rates. For this year, only a total of $1,500,000 was levied - which is spread over all of the properties (both residential and commercial) in Homer Glen. The Village will utilize other revenues to supplement the first year of the Public Works Department operations.
The tax levy is approved each year, usually in December. The Village Board is currently debt free and will remain fiscally conservative when it comes to Village tax dollars. Property tax dollars will only be used for Public Works operations. The Village Board approves the budget every year, at which time the Board decides on both appropriate revenue and expenditures levels to support the Village operations. The Village board was legally required to vote on the public works tax in December of 2020, per State law – this cannot be changed now. However, every year the Village Board will be able to review this and make a determination on what the appropriate amount should be.
Is the Village Board approving apartments?
There are no projects under review by the Plan Commission or Village Board that include multi-family housing.
The Village is currently in the process of updating its 2005 Comprehensive Plan, and the draft version’s future land use map does include parcels that are proposed to be multi-family residential or mixed use. These uses only make up 9.2% of the land in Homer Glen. Any multi-family housing development will need to be approved by the Plan Commission and Village Board and will be subject to the Village’s building codes. Mixed use developments may incorporate residential units in the same building or neighborhood as retail, office or civic uses. Multi-family residential developments include structures with multiple units that include shared spaces. The proposed plan would restrict multi-family residential to the 159th Street mixed use corridor. In addition, it proposes no new stand-alone multi-family residential outside the 159th Street corridor. Overall, this is significantly less than what was proposed in the 2005 Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan is still undergoing revisions. The Village Plan Commission and Village Board will review revisions in the coming months. Review the full draft plan here.
Is the Village approving section 8 housing?
The Village does not have the legal authority to deny or prohibit low-income residents from seeking housing in Homer Glen. The use of housing vouchers is governed by Federal housing law and is not relevant to the approval or denial of a specific development. Proposed developments will be evaluated for their design and high-quality building materials. Homer Glen is also required to comply with the state Affordable Housing Act provisions.
Is the Village Board going to spend $6 million on Heritage Park this year?
The Village Board has hired Tria Architects to design the next phases of the park. This is currently underway The Village Board has not approved the construction of these future improvements. All project contracts and bids are reviewed and approved by the Village Board at a public meeting prior to construction.
Visit Heritage Park Updates to learn more.
I heard the Mayor and Village Board are working to get a massive sports complex built in Homer Glen. Is that true?
In 2019, The Village Board partnered with two private investors to hire a consulting firm to explore the feasibility of a sports complex and multi-use development in Homer Glen. Read the market opportunity report here. The Village Board approved a contract for a phase II financial study in November 2019, however the study was not completed. There are no plans for a sports complex at this time.
Will Road District Commissioner Mike DeVivo be hired by the Village following the transfer of stewardship?
Commissioner DeVivo will not be hired by the Village, and there are no employment contracts or agreements suggesting so. Mr. DeVivo has agreed to assist the Village during the transition phase.
Can we register and receive COVID-19 vaccines at Village Hall?
Currently, the Village has no direct involvement in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The Will County Health Department does have a survey available for those interested in registering for the vaccine.