As the March 15 primary election draws nearer, Brookfield’s village government has scheduled two more town hall sessions to explain the finer points of a referendum question to authorize issuing $22 million in bonds for street improvements.
The first is slated for Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. while the second will be held Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Both town hall sessions will be held in the council chamber of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
The town halls come on the heels of a mailing sent out last week to residents. The mailing includes information that can also be found on a special referendum web page that’s been created on the village’s website.
The referendum web page can be found here. In addition to answering frequently asked questions about the referendum, the web page also includes a map showing which residential streets are slated for improvement during the next decade, if the referendum is approved.
According to Village Manager Keith Sbiral, the town halls are meant to be informational sessions following a question-and-answer format.
Because the village board approved and submitted a referendum question for the March 15 ballot late last year, the village is not allowed to expend village funds to advocate for the referendum.
As a result, the town halls will focus strictly on information related to the plan, the scope of the improvements, how the project will be financed and what the impact will be financially on Brookfield taxpayers.
If successful, the bonds for construction will be issued at three different times within five years. By state law, bond proceeds must be spent within three years of being issued.
As a result of the staggered issuance, the impact to taxpayers will ramp up, reach a peak and then ramp back down over a 15-year period. The bonds will be paid off 10 years after being issued.
The village has estimated that the owner of a home with a market value of $200,000 would pay about $410 per year in additional property taxes during years where the entire $22 million has been issued but no portion has been paid off completely.
Officials say that the $22 million will be able to fund the improvement of 37 percent (a little more than 15 miles) of Brookfield’s residential streets.
Brookfield Library to host open houses
While the village sets the stage for its referendum in March, officials at the Brookfield Public Library will host a pair of open houses and additional community engagement sessions as they prepare to ask voters to help fund the construction of a new facility.
All of the events will be held at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.
The open houses, which will offer a “behind-the-scenes” tour and provide opportunities to talk with library trustees, staff and the architect, will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. Attendees at the open houses will have a chance to win a $50 gift card to Burger Antics restaurant.
Those will be followed by the final two of four community engagement sessions library officials are hosting to build support for funding a new library facility.
The session scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. will focus on the new facility plan, while the final one on Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. will focus on the “financial landscape.”
Library officials are tentatively targeting November 2016 for a referendum. While a final amount has not been determined, the question is likely to ask voters to approve a construction bond issuance of about $10 million.