On the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot, the Village of Glencoe Board of Trustees is requesting voter authority to issue $10 million in General Obligation Bonds to fund the next three years of community improvements. These capital projects include storm water management improvements, sanitary sewer improvements, street resurfacing and sidewalk replacement and installation. These include several critical infrastructure projects and necessary maintenance improvements throughout Glencoe. As a non-home rule community, the Village requires voter authorization to borrow for long-term capital investment, which is done through the issuance of long-term debt.
Question to Voters on April 6, 2021
Shall the Village of Glencoe, Cook County, Illinois, undertake storm sewer improvements, sanitary sewer upgrades, street resurfacing and lighting, and sidewalk installation and replacement, all on property owned by the Village or over which the Village has sufficient easements, and issue its general obligation bonds to the amount of $10,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof, said bonds bearing interest at not to exceed the rate of 6.00% per annum?
The proposed projects listed below have a long useful life and are necessary to maintain the Village's critical infrastructure:
- Sanitary Sewer Improvements ($1.2 million)
Improvements include the ongoing engineering review and investigation of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's (MWRD) mandated Infiltration/Inflow Control Program (IICP) requirements.
- Sidewalk Improvements ($800,000)
Improvements include the Village's ongoing residential sidewalk replacement program through out the community. In addition to other key improvements.
- Storm Sewer Improvements ($4.1 million)
Improvements include storm sewer upgrades to significantly increase the capacity of existing systems in four (4) targeted areas of the Village.
- Street Resurfacing and Lighting ($3.9 million)
Improvements include maintenance street resurfacing of residential streets based on pavement surface conditions.
Decision to Issue Bonds
The decision to issue long-term debt is a carefully planned process. The Board of Trustees has long sought to limit the cost impacts of critical infrastructure on individual Glencoe taxpayers. Because of this, the Board's decision to request voter authority comes after extensive consideration and evaluation of Glencoe's community investment needs. In addition, as part of the budget development process, the Village Board and staff collaborate on a 10-Year Community Investment Program (CIP) (reference page 192 of the CY 2021 Budget document). The CIP is a working document that allows the Village to prioritize investment in the Village's infrastructure and capital equipment needs. In addition to the Calendar 2021 Budget document, information on the 2021 CIP projects can also be found here.
When considering whether long-term capital projects should be financed by bonds, the Village evaluates all available resources and alternatives, which are included in the Village's Financial Forecast (reference page 38 of the CY 2021 Budget document). Because the Village's Strategic Plan highlights Infrastructure Replacement and Financial Sustainability as core strategic priorities, planning efforts seek to achieve both as best as possible. Considerations may include whether the existing infrastructure's service life can be safely extended, potential use of established revenues or reserves, or grant funding. Funding gaps are fulfilled with borrowing when necessary but are strategically planned to minimize the financial impact on Glencoe residents (such as issuing new debt when old debt is retired).
The Village has invested prudently and appropriately in the past quarter century, funding over $53.4 million in upgrading and modernizing its infrastructure. This includes significant investment in storm water facilities, water infrastructure and other critical projects that improve our community and help the Village provide the best services to Glencoe residents. Most of these projects were made possible due to previous voter-approved referendum questions.
How Will This Impact My Property Taxes?
The Village Board takes very seriously the impact that a bond issue like this has on individual taxpayers.
The Village's commitment to financial sustainability is underscored by proposing affordable solutions to necessary investments that take into account project life-expectancy, the duration of bond repayment and overlap with other outstanding Village debt. In addition, availability of matching grant resources from the State or Federal governments allows for bond resources to stretch even further.
The proposed $10 million bond issue is expected to:
- Increase property taxes by $90 per $10,000 of total property tax paid.
- Be repaid over 20 years, spreading the debt load over the useful life of the improvements.
- Enjoy low costs to borrow. The average interest rate on the Village's current debt is 1.7% thanks to the Village's AAA rating. Refinancing of past bond issuances in 2020 along saved the Village over $400,000.