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Fox Lake to repair some roads despite failed referendum

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 16, 2014 12:48 a.m. CDT

FOX LAKE – A handful of roads are lined up for resurfacing this summer, and plans are to be drawn up on improvements to the water system.

The Fox Lake Village Board approved the next steps at its meeting Tuesday evening.

It signed off on a contract with Trotter and Associates, the firm that had completed a study on the system’s needs under the last village president.

Under the $178,800 contract approved Tuesday, the firm will prepare a five-year action plan to be ready in the fall, so the village will have several projects ready for grant applications, Village President Donny Schmit said.

Having plans ready to go can help with that application process, he said.

The improvements will be covered by the rate increase that went into effect last year, though the increase only covers about 30 percent of the $23 million worth of deficiencies and needs outlined in Trotter and Associates’ study, Schmit said.

Some of the projects are mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, including elevating some ground storage and installing an emergency generator, he said.

The Fox Lake Village Board also OK’d the streets that are to be resurfaced as part of its summer road projects.

The streets include the entire 0.39 miles of Rushmore Drive, the entire 0.16 miles of Deerpath Court, the entire 0.08 miles of Mallard Court, and 0.1 miles of Chris Larkin Road from Frontage Road to Talismon Way, Deputy Clerk Carol Ward said.

The project will be paid for using grants, motor fuel tax dollars and part of the $2 million the village took out in bonds.

A referendum in April had asked voters if the village could take out an additional $6 million in bonds, but voters rejected it in a 509-444 vote.

If it had been approved, the village would have repaired 23 miles of roadway over the next several years.

The rest of the $2 million will be spent over the next two years in additional street improvements with the streets picked based on how well traveled they are, their condition and what future water repairs are planned, Schmit said.

A partial resurface of Grand Avenue also is still happening through Lake County Partners, he said. Satan Road improvements will hopefully start next spring, Ward said.

The Village Board also approved refinancing the village’s debt, which will save the village $360,000, Schmit said.

The saved money is headed toward unexpected winter costs, including $250,000 in repairing frozen water mains and services, overtime associated with snow removal and future landscaping and street repairs.

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