On what President Kit Ketchmark called a “historic” night, the Brookfield Village Board approved public works projects and a bond sale totaling more than $12 million at the board’s June 13 meeting.
Trustees unanimously approved eight items, several related to a residential street improvement campaign that was the subject of a $22 million referendum question in the March primary election. Voters passed the bond referendum in convincing fashion, by a margin of 59-41 percent.
In addition to approving a $9.3 million bond sale that will fund three years’ worth of residential street improvements, trustees also approved spending about $706,000 for sewer improvements along streets being improved on the village’s south end in 2016.
Making good on a promise to maintain streets once they’re improved, the village board OK’d roughly $42,000 for crack filling and pavement striping on Maple and Prairie avenues between 31st Street and the BNSF Railroad tracks.
The village board also awarded contracts totaling about $2 million to construct a flood-control system consisting of a pump station and below- and above-ground storm water storage facilities near the intersection of Forest and Washington avenues.
Brookfield trustees also approved about $47,000 for sidewalk replacement, primarily in the area bounded by Custer, Grove, Ogden and Gerritsen avenues, and awarded a roughly $60,000 contract to repair a deteriorated combined sewer overflow outfall into Salt Creek at 30th Street.
“It was a historical meeting at a lot of different levels,” Ketchmark said in a separate interview. “Some are general maintenance things and some are great projects. Going forward with the bonds for the streets is a tremendous project for the village.”
On June 27, the village is poised to issue $9.3 million in municipal bonds to fund the first three years of a planned eight-year residential street improvement program. Roughly $2 million of that initial bond issue will be used later this year to repave five of the streets south of Shields Avenue.
Brookfield will issue the remainder of the bonds on two other occasions within the next five years to fund the remaining street improvements, roughly one-third of the residential streets in the village, that are part of the eight-year program.
The village board still must award asphalt and concrete paving contracts for the 2016 street resurfacing program. That is slated to happen at the village board’s meeting scheduled for June 27.
However, with a sewer repair contract in hand, crews from LaGrange Park-based Suburban General Construction Inc. will begin that part of the 2016 road improvement project on the south end on Monday, June 20.
The costs for the sewer improvements that are being done prior to the street resurfacing are being paid for by the village’s water/sewer fund, which is supported by water and sewer charges paid by Brookfield residential property owners and businesses.
While some of the work, such as the Forest/Washington pump station, the sidewalk replacement and the 30th Street sewer outfall repair, would have moved ahead in 2016 regardless of the March referendum success, the rest of the work depended on that vote.
Ketchmark said the time was right for the referendum, which he doubted could have passed 10 or 20 years ago.
“Sometimes the village board gets criticized for what’s happened since the village was founded, but at those times [in the past] there may not have been the same need or support,” Ketchmark said. “I don’t know if 10 years ago this referendum would have passed. At this time we felt we had support for the referendum.”
Ketchmark praised village staff — from the village management and finance offices to the attorney to the engineering firm — for pulling together everything needed to result in a summer bond sale and late summer construction start.
“I’m proud of what we were able to work on and accomplish for the village,” Ketchmark said. “It took everybody to make this work.”