Riverside officials are moving ahead with a plan to issue $1,515,000 million in bonds to fund local road improvements next year. On Oct. 17, the village board held a public hearing announcing its intent to issue the bonds, most likely sometime in January 2020.
The bond proceeds will go toward resurfacing the entire length of Selborne Road, which arcs along the northern end of the village from Longcommon Road to Nuttall Road and has been identified as a top candidate for improvement.
In addition, the village seeks to improve Parkway Road, a semicircular drive on the north edge of the village that connects on either side to Selborne Road.
Earlier this month, the village board approved a $79,500 contract with Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. to provide professional engineering services related to the Selborne/Parkway improvement project.
The total cost for the improvements is estimated at about $1.3 million. The village can also opt to use motor fuel tax funds to help pay for the project, if needed.
In the past 15 years, the village has gone to referendum to win approval for bond issues that have paid for local street improvements. The last time the village did so was in 2014, when voters approved issuing $2.5 million in bonds. Those funds have been expended and the debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2024.
This new bond issue will not require a referendum, though it is subject to a so-called backdoor referendum, if enough signatures are gathered on a petition to put the matter to a vote.
The village has the ability, through state statute, to issue these “limited bonds” and levy a tax annually to pay off the debt service.
Riverside has been issuing limited bonds every other year since 2003 to pay the debt service on bonds issued in 2002 for the construction of the Riverside Public Works building in Riverside Lawn.
The village has levied taxes annually to pay off those limited bond issuances. In November, the village made its last payment on the public works bond issue, freeing up the village to issue limited bonds for other purposes.
It remains to be seen whether the village will continue to issue limited bonds periodically to fund infrastructure improvements like the Selborne/Parkway road project on the docket for 2020.