Maintaining, resurfacing and reconstructing the roads in Riverside is a municipal responsibility, because it is important to have well maintained roads to promote the well being and safety of our citizens.

However, the funds available to fund the Riverside road system are limited at the present time, forcing road work to be deferred from time to time, resulting in greater costs to the community when portions of the roads deteriorate to the point where they must be completely rebuilt. We must do everything we can to avoid this situation.

The legislature has given non-home rule municipalities like Riverside the opportunity, with the support of its citizens through a referendum, to impose a 1-percent sales tax (except on services, certain foods and drugs) for infrastructure purposes.

The Riverside Board of Trustees has placed this referendum on the ballot for March 21 with the commitment to use the proceeds (estimated to be about $177,000 annually) for road purposes.

With this money and our share of the motor fuel tax revenues, Riverside for the first time will have a well-funded road program covering maintenance, repair and reconstruction.

This also gives us an opportunity to ask the non-residents of Riverside who patronize the gas stations and stores on Harlem Avenue and the Brookfield Zoo to contribute to providing the road system that each of them use to reduce the burden on the homeowners in Riverside.

Please vote on March 21 and vote “yes” on the referendum for this tax. The quality of our roads directly affects the value of the property in Riverside. A “yes” vote will provide the funds so needed to support and continue the Riverside road improvement program for the benefit of all of us.

Thomas C. Shields
 Thomas C. Shields is a Riverside village trustee.