Home News Kenilworth officials increase efforts to reach out to voters about referendum

Kenilworth officials increase efforts to reach out to voters about referendum

Kenilworth officials increase efforts to reach out to voters about referendum

Kenilworth voters should soon get postcards of their mailboxes reminding them to vote March 19 on a referendum asking if the village can issue as much as $2.5 million in bonds to assist pay for major improvements to Kenilworth’s decommissioned water plant.

Village President Cecily Kaz showed the postcard to trustees on the Feb. 20 village board meeting. She said residents also can get more information in regards to the referendum, the project itself, in addition to links to information on early and mail-in voting dates and locations, on the village’s website.

The project for which the bonds can be issued will cost about $8.4 million. Additional funding for it is based on using about $3.3 million in existing fund balances, and on raising at the very least $2.5 million in donations.

Village Manager Patrick Brennan told trustees in the course of the meeting, “We’re hoping to exceed that (donation) amount, which can cut the quantity we’ve to borrow.”

If residents approve the referendum, village officials estimate the bond issuance would add about $126 annually to the property tax bill of a Kenilworth home valued at $1 million.

The $8.4 million covers essentially the most extensive, and expensive, revamp of the constructing and its beach facilities. As proposed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, chosen in 2022 to design beach and constructing improvements, it will:

• Place recent staff and restroom facilities closer to the beach;
• Renovate the constructing’s second floor and lower level to incorporate a multi-purpose room, recent concessions, storage lockers and recreation spaces, in addition to a brand new beach access ramp; and
• Create space within the constructing for Kenilworth Sailing Club’s boat storage.

If passed, the referendum could also cover the prices of a smaller project that may exclude boat storage and renovate only the second floor of the constructing, while closing off its first floor.

Through the Feb. 20 meeting, trustees ratified an amendment to Woodhouse Tinucci’s existing contract, allowing the firm to begin work on the subsequent design phase for the project, including at the very least three public meetings, in an amount to not exceed $290,000. Woodhouse Tinucci was initially hired in November 2022 to handle the primary design phase, at a price of $120,000.

Since then, the village and Woodhouse Tinucci held public meetings and undertook a communitywide survey to assist ascertain how much support residents might give to numerous levels of constructing and beach improvements.

In December, survey results indicated that a big majority of respondents (179 on Dec. 11 and 207 as of Dec. 18) considered the project either extremely vital or very vital.

Brennan reminded trustees that protecting the village’s existing shoreline is a separate project, one which the village has already decided have to be undertaken, and which just isn’t a part of the referendum.

Late last 12 months, the shoreline protection cost was estimated at $1.5-$1.9 million. Brennan said on Feb. 21 that the price will probably be $1.5 million, and that about 70 percent of that may very well be covered by a grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, with money from the federal EPA.

“We expect to listen to something (in regards to the grant) sometime in March,” he said.

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