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Morton Grove OKs Budget, Tells 2012 Highlights

Morton Grove Trustee Maria Toth read a list of the village government's accomplishments at Monday's village board meeting. Trustees passed a budget with no tax increases, having held two prior workshops.

 

Morton Grove Trustees passed the village's 2013 budget Monday, in the amount of $57,130,770. The amount does not require a tax increase to residents. 

Earlier: Morton Grove presents budget similar to last year's 

The budget can be viewed on the village's website.

Also at Monday's meeting, Trustee Maria Toth took a few minutes to read a list she compiled of items village government accomplished during the year.

The list includes the bread-and-butter work of any village government, from the number of miles of roads paved to the response time for 911 calls. 

It also contains initiatives the village undertook this year, such as the electrical aggregation program, and the tranfer of 911 dispatch services to the village of Glenview, both of which are expected to save residents money.

No mention was made of one of the touchiest issues the board dealt with this year, the possible siting of a garbage transfer station or recycling station in an industrial area in Morton Grove. The issue is on hold until the business which owns the land decides whether it wants to pursue the idea.

However, Toth's report did say the village experienced signs of economic recovery in 2012 and that revenue is expected to exceed the revenue of the preceeding year. She also said Mayor Dan Staackmann, the village board and village employees have worked to trim expenses while maintaing services. 

Here are the details, as provided by Trustee Toth.

Village Government Acts on Feedback Received from Residents

  • The Electrical Aggregation program was a tremendous success, with 98% of households participating.  It is estimated that each household will save $349 a year.  The annual estimated total community-wide savings is $2,620,000.
  • In response to customer requests for better information on their Water Billing Statement, the Village created a new statement which provides detailed rate information, clear instructions on when and where to make payments, and contact information for discussing customer concerns.  In addition, an early detection process was implemented to notify residents of possible waters leaks.
  • Residents now have 24-hour access to purchasing or renewing vehicle stickers and pet licenses through the Village’s website, with mailing to occur within 48 hours.
  • METRA parking machines were upgraded to accept credit cards. The Village also created a process to quickly resolve ticket disputes due to simple keypad errors.

Public Safety and Social Services

  •  Fire and EMS calls.  Average response time of 4 minutes or less.
  • Retrofitted both Fire engines 4 and 5 to Advanced Life Support capability. This resulted in increased service availability to residents at minimal cost.
  • Successfully transitioned the fire department’s Resource Hospital affiliation to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. This action will result in increased quality of EMS patient care and paramedic continuing education while lowering administrative costs.
  • The Police Department safely and successfully planned and prepared for NATO-related events.
  • The upcoming transition to the Glenview Public Safety Dispatch Center for 911 calls is at a significant savings to the village.
  • $26,000 in financial assistance was provided for residents in crisis.
  • The public-private partnership between the village and North Shore Senior Center continues to expand services for seniors within the village.

New Business Growth

  •  54 new business licenses were issued in 2012. 

Construction and Development Projects

  • An 82-unit independent senior living facility in the Lehigh/Ferris TIF district, called the Homestead of Morton Grove, opened its doors in early 2012.  
  • Construction and sales continue at the Crossings of Morton Grove residential development.

Economic Development 

The Economic Development Commission (EDC) sponsored the following programs and held these events during 2012.  Each of these events was highly successful with significant local attendance. 

  • Classic and Antique Car Show.   Seven shows were held over the summer of 2012 and brought additional traffic to Prairie View Plaza and surrounding Morton Grove businesses.
  • Business Profiles Program.  Businesses continued to be profiled in the Village’s quarterly newsletter.
  • Community Choice Business Awards Program.  The EDC created this program to recognize local businesses who have invested in their properties.  Awards were given in three categories:  buildings/façades, grounds/landscaping, and business signs.

Roads and Infrastructure

  •  A 60 year-old pump and motor set were replaced at the North Pumping Station.
  • 53 water mains and 17 service leaks were repaired.
  • Public Works cleaned and inspected 115,000 feet of sanitary sewer pipe and line 2,400 feet of 8-inch sanitary sewer pipe.
  • Completed Village-wide water meter change-out and installation of a radio read system.
  • 5.98 miles of streets were resurfaced, using 4,655 square yards of asphalt in the street patching program.
  • 10,800 miles of streets were swept.
  • 1,412 trees were trimmed and 181 trees were planted in 2012.
  • Public Works began a feasibility study of alternative water sources for the Village. 

Information Technology

  •  The Morton Grove Website has 4,500 separate visitors each month to the Village’s website.
  • The Morton Grove e-Newsletter now has 650 subscribers to this monthly mode of communication.
  • MGTV expanded its programming to include interviews with many public officials, including Secretary of State Jesse White, State Representative John D’Amico, and Cook County Circuit Court Judges Geary Kull and Larry Axelrood.
Mr. Rats December 12, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Most of the budget is on autopilot and monkeys, literally, can come up with these budgets. No tax increase? Don't worry MG'ers they're going to get more revenue to the tune of a 22% increase in moving violation fines, 36% increase in adjudication fines and a 50% increase in false alarm fines. Well that's the plan, to basically push the cops to be the revenue (tax) collectors. At least I did give the amateurs the ideas to publish more newsletters, update the crappy website, delay new cop building purchase and take a pro-village stance on the garbage dump. Rat Pack Party to be formed shortly.

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