December 4, 2020
Dear Homer Glen Residents,
On December 9, the Village Board will consider an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Homer Township Road District for the final transfer of the Road District stewardship, including real estate, personal property and equipment. Pending approval, this marks the first formal step toward the Village creating its own public works department.
As you may recall, the Village Board first shared its intent to pursue this transfer last July. At that time, we committed to an open, transparent and collaborative process - and we meant it. During the past several months, the Village has held informational meetings, mailed newsletters to each household and has continuously updated its website, social media pages and new public access channel (Channel 6) to provide updates and new information. Coinciding with this outreach, both the Village and the Road District have met with representatives from Homer Township, City of Lockport, Village of Lemont and Village of New Lenox to discuss our plans and the impacts on those residents.
As we have noted, because 133 of the 151 miles of streets that the Township sought to control are located in and owned by Homer Glen, the Village believes it should have authority to make funding and maintenance decisions pertaining to the roads it already owns. Furthermore, Homer Glen residents have been paying most of the taxes into the system to buy trucks, plows and equipment for the past 20 years.
Homer Glen and Homer Township voters soundly defeated a referendum last month that would have allowed the Homer Township Board to take over our roads. The outcome demonstrated that voters strongly support the Village’s plan to control its own destiny and not be beholden to another government entity.
I remind you of this important community initiative because we work for you, and we want to honor our commitment that all stakeholders are fairly and equitably treated and informed throughout this process.
Despite the progress, there is more work to be done to make this transfer a success. It includes: finalizing the buy-out agreements with the other impacted governmental entities; on-boarding Road District employees; cross-training our employees across both agencies to gain work efficiencies and cost effectiveness; and developing Homer Glen’s first Public Works Department Budget for spring budget adoption.
In order to fund the operations of the Public Works Department, the Village will be levying $1.5 million to be collected next year. This amount, combined with other Village funding sources, will be used for the first year’s operations.
As we proceed with the plan, we promise to continue to maintain transparency and open communication with all of you. Next year is our Village’s 20th Anniversary and the trustees and I are excited to continue moving the Village forward. We will make Homer Glen proud!
Thank you for your continued support of this important community project. I encourage you to visit our website at www.homerglenil.org to learn more or call us directly at (708) 301-0632 or email myself at email@example.com or Village Manager Karie Friling at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.