Kendall seeks study on growth
BY STEVE LORD email@example.com October 11, 2013 9:34AM
Updated: November 14, 2013 6:12AM
YORKVILLE — With signs of an improving economy, there also signs that growth is on the way back in Kendall County.
One of the fastest-growing counties between 2000 and 2010 took a break for a few years due to the recession. The rough economic times bankrupted developers, left subdivisions half-built (or even less), and stuck municipalities with paying costs that were supposed to be paid for new construction.
Still, the silver lining in the very dark cloud is it gave local jurisdictions here a chance to catch their breath, and begin planning for when growth begins again.
In that vein, Kendall County is applying for a local assistance grant through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, or CMAP, to develop the “Countywide Pay as We Grow Plan.”
The proposed plan would analyze the yearly rate of residential growth that can be absorbed and served effectively by each taxing unit within Kendall County, with a minimum of property tax cost to residents.
That analysis would include county, schools, villages, cities, library districts, park districts, the forest preserve district, fire districts, sanitary sewer districts, townships and any other taxing districts.
County officials think it’s a natural for CMAP, because it will fulfill the agency’s GoTo 2040 plan that, among other things, recommends planning comprehensive sustainable growth.
To get the growth study, Kendall is seeking endorsements from as many of the taxing districts in the county as possible. Earlier this month Yorkville was set to pass a resolution in favor of it, but its City Council meeting was canceled. Still, aldermen are expected to endorse the study at their next meeting.
That support is coming despite the fact Yorkville has its own proposal for a CMAP technical assistance grant, one they are applying for with Oswego and Montgomery.
The three municipalities are seeking help to study how combining some of their city services might create economies of scale, and save taxpayers money.
Bart Olson, Yorkville city administrator, said the cities have not necessarily identified any particular service for sharing, yet.
The city have discussed joint purchasing and joint bidding, something some of them already have done for garbage services.
Olson said in the application, the cities listed road resurfacing, sidewalk repairs, tree trimming, street sweeping, payroll, code enforcement inspections, building inspections and some other things as potential places where combined services could save money.
“But that was more to list the full range of possibilities,” Olson said. “The purpose of the study would be for us to identify where and how the efficiencies can be achieved.
He said cities have no estimate of cost savings, either. “I would hope that the final study, should we receive the grant, would give us some range of potential savings,” he said.
Several years ago, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus was looking at helping municipalities combine some services. They were helping several North Shore communities who were looking at consolidating fire departments, and two western suburban communities who were looking at combining police departments.
At the time, then-Yorkville Mayor Valerie Burd was a member of a shared services committee at the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and she talked with Oswego Mayor Brian LeClercq about the two cities sharing some services.
Olson said he sees no problem with having applications from Kendall County and from Yorkville, Oswego and Montgomery alive at the same time, because they involve the allocation of staff time, not money.