Riverside’s 2018 budget, approved as part of an omnibus agenda at the Dec. 7 meeting of the village board, calls for $6.4 million in capital expenditures across all funds, including purchases of emergency vehicles, water main and street improvement projects, village hall technology upgrades and significant expenses related to the expected launch of the West Central Consolidated Communications (WC3) joint emergency dispatching agency.

Many of those capital purchases are included in the village’s general operating fund expenditures, which in 2018 are expected to be about $9.7 million. The budget predicts a razor-thin positive margin of about $2,000 by the end of 2018.

Among the big-ticket items in next year’s budget are expenditures of about $700,000 related to the new joint emergency dispatch agency, WC3. A partnership between the villages of Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield, the dispatch center will handle 911 calls for police and fire calls for those three villages in addition to the village of McCook.

Startup costs for the dispatch center, which will be housed at the North Riverside Police Department have been substantial. In 2018, Riverside expects to pay $565,000 on startup costs, including fiber-optic cable installation and another $140,000 on renovating the Riverside Police Department’s lobby, which will only be staffed during daytime hours, but will be available to citizens who still wish to contact police in person 24 hours a day. 

Costs related to WC3 are funded principally through the village’s E911 fund, paid for by surcharges to residents’ phone bills.

The village is also planning to spend $700,000 to replace a section of water main along Coonley Road and another $500,000 to resurface all of the streets in the First Division, which were torn up in 2017 during the storm sewer separation project. Another $500,000 has been earmarked for continued sewer separation projects.

Those projects are funded by the village water and sewer fund through fees charged to Riverside customers.

There’s also a $1.2 million line item in the 2018 budget for resurfacing the main commuter parking lot in downtown Riverside, just west of the train station on Bloomingbank Road, with permeable pavers.

Village Manager Jessica Frances said that the village has applied for a grant for the project through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. While the village has not yet received confirmation of a grant award, said Frances, “I believe we have a good chance of receiving it.”

Riverside will move ahead with a partially grant-funded $540,000 project to realign traffic patterns near the downtown train station at the intersection of Bloomingbank and Riverside roads to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety.

The village has also sought a separate grant to make streetscape improvements along the downtown portion of East Quincy Street. The total cost of that project is estimated at about $700,000.

Riverside will purchase a new ambulance for $230,000, replacing a roughly 7-year-old ambulance which has been a maintenance problem recently. Another $68,000 will be spent on two police department vehicles.