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Village board discusses ways to trim $1.6 million shortfall

By Jane Charmelo
LOMBARDIAN STAFF REPORTER

The Lombard Village Board of
Trustees on Thursday, July 21, discussed
several ways to deal with a
looming $1.6 million budget deficit
next year, looking to raise revenue
while at the same time making cuts to
match.
Prior to the meeting, Village Manager
Scott Niehaus explained that
the board is considering two specific
proposals: to add an additional 1 percent
“Places for Eating” tax at eating
establishments in the village, as well
as eliminate a senior taxi subsidy program.
He said the idea is to raise
$800,000 and at the same time, make
$800,000 in budget cuts: for every $1
in new revenue, a $1 cut in expenses.
At the meeting, Reid Foltyniewicz,
District 3 trustee, noted that the
proposal to add the tax was studied
by the Finance and Administration
Committee, of which he is chair.
He related that the advisory group,
made up of eight Lombard residents,
had been looking at ways to trim the
shortfall since November 2015, saying,
“We saw some of the challenges
we had to face and started tapping
that right away.”
The trustee said the projected
shortfall stems not from overspending,
but from such factors as unfunded
state mandates imposed on the
village, as well as rising pension and
workers’ compensation costs.
He said that rather than pass along
the challenges to future boards, the
committee said, “Let’s make some
tough decisions now.”
The committee, Foltyniewicz said,
looked at several options that would
raise taxes directly affecting Lombard
residents, such as reinstating
the vehicle sticker or possibly taxing
video games and other entertainment.
Making cuts to services was another
option.
However, he continued, it was
considered a compromise that the
Places for Eating tax be raised by 1
percent, adding that the village estimates
that as much as 65 percent of
gained revenue would come from
out-of-town diners, which would be
“a huge plus for us.”
The trustee also emphasized that
during the process of discussing the
tax option, he spoke with members of
the Lombard Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, Yorktown Center and
the Lombard Town Centre to get their
opinions. He also spoke to local civic
groups, such as Rotary and Kiwanis,
to get their input.
“This is not something we rushed
through,” Foltyniewicz said, highlighting
that the village, being a nonhome-
rule municipality, is limited as
to what options it has to raise revenue.
“We have to rely on Springfield to
take action,” he added.
Niehaus said during the meeting
that the village first added a 1 percent
Places for Eating tax in 2003.
He further stated that a number of
municipalities also have such a revenue-
raising measure: Schaumburg
and Skokie, 2 percent; Villa Park, 1.5
percent; and Hanover Park, 3 percent,
to name a few.
He also mentioned how the general
consensus is that the tax, on
“sit-down” restaurants only, will not
largely affect Lombard restaurants, as
evidenced by the number of restaurants
that have popped in Schaumburg,
for example, where a Places
for Eating tax has been active since
1987.
Foltyniewicz reiterated that rather
than look to future boards to raise the
tax incrementally—a quarter percent,
half percent or more—the committee
said this option would potentially
help reduce the budget deficit for at
least three years.
Bill Johnston, trustee from District
4, also emphasized that this would
reduce a restaurant’s need to spend
the money necessary to change its
software if the tax were to be slowly
added in.
Foltyniewicz said the solution being
proposed was a committee-wide
recommendation, adding, “Eight
members of this community got to
vet this process as well.”
In his view, this is the “best of the
worst” way to help shave the deficit.
“This has been a very long process,”
commented Lombard Village President
Keith Giagnorio. “A difficult
decision but one we needed to make.”
Niehaus said he has invited Lombard
restaurant owners to meet with
the village on Aug. 1 to discuss the
proposed tax increase.
On the expenditure-reduction side,
Foltyniewicz said the same committee
has recommended that the village
eliminate a taxi subsidy for seniors,
in which they have been able to buy
a $26 cab voucher for $5. The move
would save roughly $40,000 a year.
He believes it is a “very smart
move” to eliminate a program he says
is redundant—other reduced-fare ride
programs are offered by York Township
and DuPage County.
“Penny-pinching,” and freezing
and eliminating village positions, the
trustee said, “wasn’t quite enough,” so
the village needs to find more ways to
continue funding the most important
core government functions—police,
fire and public works. He added that
the committee had approached public
works, and even “selling equipment
not needed only got so far.”
“Is this a core function of government?”
Foltyniewicz posed of the
taxi subsidy.
The trustee acknowledged that the
board actions might result in a future
dent in the senior-citizen vote, yet for
him, it is still “the right thing to do.”
“No one likes to cut a program like
this,” he added.
Since these agenda issues were
part of a “first reading,” the board
voted only to revisit them for possible
passage at the Aug.18 village board
meeting; no action has been taken to
pass either measure.
Niehaus said that if the 1 percent
Places for Eating tax passes, it would
take effect Jan. 1, 2017.
If the board eliminates the taxi
subsidy, vouchers will continue to be
sold through the end of 2016, and can
be redeemed until their expiration in
2017.


Deep Quarry Lake
now open for boating

The Forest Preserve District of
DuPage County has reopened Deep
Quarry Lake at West Branch Forest
Preserve in Bartlett, ending a ban
ecologists initially hoped would stop
the spread of invasive zebra mussels.
The district discontinued recreational
boating at the 40-acre lake
when it discovered zebra mussels
there in 2009. Despite this effort, zebra
mussels later appeared in the adjacent
Bass Lake at West Branch in
2012, and in Mallard Lake at Mallard
Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park
and Eagle Lake at Hidden Lake Forest
Preserve in Downers Grove in 2015.
With the ban in place, the new infestations
indicated the mussels were
likely being spread by other means
such as fishing, said district ecologist
Dan Grigas, so the district decided to
lift the boating ban.
“We want to increase recreational
opportunities for DuPage County residents
by reopening this lake for our
patrons to enjoy while still being cognizant
of the hazards invasive species
have on our ecosystems,” said Forest
Preserve District of DuPage County
President Joe Cantore.
Now, boaters with valid district
permits can again take to the 40-footdeep
lake, which contains bass, sunfish,
catfish, carp, bluegill and crappie.
Boating rules and permits are
available online.
For information, call 630-933-
7200 or visit dupageforest.org.


Lombard area AAUW
Used Book Sale Aug. 3-6


The Lombard Area AAUW opens
its annual Used Book Sale on Wednesday,
Aug. 3, from 5-9 p.m. at First
Church of Lombard, 220 S. Main St.
(corner of Main and Maple).
Wednesday is “Pre-Sale Night” and
timed entry tickets will be given out
at 3 p.m. Admission this year is $5.
Admission is free on Thursday and
Friday, Aug. 4-5 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
as well as on Saturday, Aug. 6, when
the sale is open from 9 a.m. until noon.
This year there will again be special
pricing – fill a bag of books – for only
$10 on Saturday morning.
Over 15,000 sorted books will be
for sale including “collectibles,” children’s
books and “better books,” in
addition to hardback and paperback
fiction and non-fiction. Most books are
priced from $1 to $2, with better books
and collectibles $5 and up. Come and
look for a book you’ve always wanted
to read or a recent bestseller.
Proceeds from this annual event
fund local and national scholarships
and grants. In 2015, Lombard AAUW
donated over $7,000 to scholarships
and grants for women and girls. The
mission of the American Association
of University Women is to advance
equity for women and girls through advocacy,
education and research. More
information is available on the AAUW
Web site at lombard-il.aauw.net or on
Facebook.


Park Art Center to feature local artists

The works of the recently formed
Studios630, a group of west suburban
artists and creatives, will be on display
at Park Art Center from Aug. 5 through
Aug. 27, with an opening reception
from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 5 at Park Art Center,
9 E. Park Blvd., in Villa Park.
“Studios630 is comprised of talented
local artists from the community—
60 members strong and
growing—featuring works in various
mediums, including oil painting,
mixed-media, digital art, printmaking
and photography.
“As a group we’re really looking
forward to having our ‘Members
Show’ hosted by Park Art Center.
While many of our artists have shown
in galleries, this is the first time most of
us have shown together in one formal
gallery setting. I’m really looking forward
to seeing all our different styles in
one room. It’s just wonderful what artists
can do when they work together,”
stated Sean McMenemy, co-founder,
Studios630.
The show, entitled “klekt!c”, will
feature the works of many of the members
of Studios630 including Cheryl
Rausch, Don Meyer, Enisa Gonzalez,
Toby Myles, April Dippy, Sean McMenemy,
Sharon Tinker, Susanna Vasko,
Fran Moran, Jason Shuckhart, Lisa
Rundell, Bruce Schuurmann, Nancy
Mueller Morimoto, Jennifer Cooper,
Cherylyn Gnadt, Carolyn Dunn. The
exhibit is free to the public.
Members originally met serendipitously
over coffee at the Corner House
in Lombard and decided to collaborate
in order to display and market their
work close to home while also bringing
art to the community. The works of
Studios630 members also form a rotating
exhibit, featuring from 10-15 artists
per exhibit, at The Corner Gallery,
inside The Corner House coffee house
in Downtown Lombard.
“I am excited to have Studios630
exhibit here at Park Art Center. Part
of our mission is to unite as many artists
as we can. We feed of each other,
and influence is so important in the art
field; the mix of styles and techniques
are inspiring,” said Wendee Goles,
president of Park Art Center.


District 45 holds walk-in
registration next week


District 45 will hold walk-in registration
next week for the upcoming
2016-17 school year. These registration
sessions are for families who are
new to District 45, or for those who
did not register through the district’s
online process.
All the District 45 elementary
schools will hold a “Meet the Teacher”
event from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on
Tuesday, Aug. 16. The first day of
school in the district is Wednesday,
Aug. 17.
Walk-in registration will take
place at all the elementary schools
on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 1 to 7 p.m.,
and Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m.
to 3 p.m.
Walk-in registration for
sixth-graders at Jackson and Jefferson
middle schools will take place
at the respective schools on Tuesday,
Aug. 2, from 1 to 7 p.m. Registration
for seventh- and eighth-grade
students at Jackson will be held
Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 1 to 7 p.m.
Walk-in registration for seventh- and
eighth-graders at Jefferson will take
place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug.
3. Jackson Middle School is located
at 301 W. Jackson Street, Villa Park.
Jefferson Middle School is located at
255 W. Vermont St., Villa Park.
All the District 45 schools will
hold walk-in registration from 1 to 7
p.m. on Aug. 2, and from 8 a.m. to
3 p.m. on Aug. 3. Those schools include:
Ardmore School (kindergarten
through fifth grade)—225 S. Harvard
Ave., Villa Park; North School (kindergarten
through fifth grade)—150
W. Sunset Drive, Villa Park; Schafer
School (early childhood through
fifth grade)—700 E. Pleasant Lane,
Lombard; Stevenson School (early
childhood through second grade)—
18W331 15th St., Lombard; Westmore
School (kindergarten through
fifth grade)—340 S. School St.,
Lombard; and York Center School
(grades 3–5)—895 E. 14th St., Lombard.



 
   
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