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2018 State of the Village

Post Date:04/03/2018

STATE OF THE VILLAGE

Spring is almost here and I am sure we can all agree that this winter was a relatively mild one.  As we take a look back at the 2017/2018 fiscal year that the Village operates on (May 1 – April 30), I would like to present you with a recap as presented by my department heads:

Finance Department - Joanna Skupien – Village Administrator

The Village of Norridge is committed to financial excellence and integrity.  Our fiscal year will soon be ending on April 30 and we are beginning to work on our upcoming year’s budget.  At the end of 2017 the State of Illinois enacted into law a bill which authorizes the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) to impose a 2% administrative fee on locally-imposed sales taxes.  The 2% fee is estimated to reallocate $60 million to IDOR from affected local governments’ budgets statewide, Norridge being one of them.  Thankfully, new businesses and developments offset the losses.  However, we are land locked and do not have infinite space to expand our Village.  Because the retail sales taxes are a significant source of revenue for our General Fund, cuts like these impact our revenue stream.  For fiscal year ending April 30, 2017, sales taxes represented almost 70% of our total revenues.

The Village of Norridge remains one of only a few Illinois communities that does NOT levy a municipal property tax for general operations.  In addition, unlike surrounding communities, the Village has no electric utility tax, no real estate transfer tax and no 911 surcharges.  The Village also provides free garbage and recycling services to all residents. Typically, local governments want to have 25% of the money reserved in case they fall on hard times.  In Norridge, reserves represented 30% of our fund balance at April 30, 2017.

The Village of Norridge did raise water rates in 2017 in order to more aggressively address water and sewer infrastructure projects.  Although it is easier to kick the can down the road, we made a tough decision that all residents and businesses need to pay a little more. But at the same time, everyone will see the benefit.  We have several water main projects planned for next year, we have replaced hundreds of meter transmission units, we have committed to doing annual leak surveys and fix any and all leaks identified, we have replaced fire hydrants and have set a plan for the replacement of many more. 

In 2017 the Village took advantage of a rebate incentive awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Com Ed Energy Efficiency Program.  We received approximately $200,000 in order to assist us with a project for the replacement of more than 200 outdoor street lights throughout the community.  The outdoor lights retrofitted with LED energy efficient lighting are expected to result in an annual cost savings of approximately $50,000.

We continue to offer our residents rebate programs.  Two of the programs that are currently offered are the concrete reimbursement program and a flood control program.  A total of $28,737 for concrete reimbursements and $44,100 for flood control reimbursements has been paid out over the current fiscal year and the last two.  There are $15,000 remaining in the concrete reimbursement account and $11,000 in the flood control reimbursement account for this fiscal year so please take advantage of these programs.

Building Department – Brian Gaseor – Building Commissioner and Village Engineer

In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, Norridge welcomed the following new businesses:

1 to 1 Wireless                                               Amazon Retail

AMC Norridge 6 Theatres                             Miller’s Ale House

B.I.R.E. L.L.C.                                                Gabachief                                                    

Hair by Sam                                                    Happy Feet                                                  

Honey Baked Ham                                         Mini Donut Factory           

Nordstrom Rack                                             Pandora Harlem Irving

Popeyes Chicken                                            PS Salon & Spa  

Zerillo Realty

We also welcome the new owners of the following businesses:

Dobbs Pre-School

Norridge Ace Hardware

RMarts LLC (Shell Oil)

 

The City of Chicago Department of Aviation has installed a noise monitor on Cullom Avenue by James Giles School.  Thank you to former Village Clerk Judith Dunne Bernardi for all her help in obtaining this monitor.

All single and two family buildings received a complimentary garbage cart during the Spring of 2017.  Additional carts are still available for purchase.  Since each cart’s serial number is registered to your home, and in order to avoid any confusion, please make sure your address is on the inside cover of your cart.    

Police Department – Chief of Police Dave Disselhorst

We have had several challenging incidents as well as some great accomplishments.   First let me say that every member of our Department from Crossing Guards and Administration to the most senior Officers are committed to providing our citizens with quality, professional public safety service.   They care deeply about our community and I want to thank them for their service.  

The men and women of our Department have accomplished several new initiatives this year.  With the consolidation of District 80 we have realigned the DARE program to work with the new junior high grade center at James Giles School.  We have presented and partnered with the district and several outside speakers on cyberbullying and internet/social media awareness.  We will continue to participate in the District 80 Pride Parade and Kindness Week.   Our Officers have worked with Ridgewood High School (RHS) and are enforcing tobacco and vaping compliance.   Our School Resource Officer has teamed with the State Police to assist RHS in doing a dog sniff for controlled substances in the school.  We are consistently training with the schools and other departments on active shooter scenarios.  We have rearranged some of our crossing guard personnel to provide more safety around the schools.

 The biggest challenge has been the consolidation of 9-1-1 dispatch centers to Municipal Consolidated Dispatch (MCD).  With this transition comes new processes, software and procedures. However, I want to assure the community that the services we have provided to the Village have not suffered.  

The holiday season proved to be challenging in terms of burglaries and attempt burglaries.  A burglary crew of juveniles from Chicago was working several area municipalities.  Norridge did see an increase in these crimes during this time.  I can report our detectives identified suspects and through the cooperation with other departments arrests were made and burglaries have dropped.  

All of our Supervisors are in the process of completing Crisis Intervention Training.   This training will help us identify subjects who are in a mental health crisis and provide them services.  Once our Supervisors are trained we will move to train all Officers.  Along the same note, all of our Officers are now trained in issuing the heroin antidote NARCAN for people in a narcotic crisis.  

Looking forward, we will be hiring several new Officers.  We will continue to train Officers to the highest standards.  We will be using new software for several processes such as alarm permits, ticketing and traffic accidents.  We will continue to use community outreach programs such as Coffee with a Cop, monthly Senior Information Meetings and Safety Town to reach all ages of our community.  I want every person to feel comfortable reaching out to us with concerns.  All of the things we do will be guided by providing the residents the best public safety services.

Information Technology Department – Douglass S. Strempek – IT Coordinator

In September 2017, The Village of Norridge, in partnership with Vision Internet, launched our new website, www.villageofnorridge.com. The new website, which is easier to navigate, provides enhanced content to our residents, businesses and visitors. 

Also, in the next month, and in an effort to help our residents better communicate with us, the Village of Norridge will release our new customer engagement App. “Notify Norridge” for your mobile devices. An official release date will be published on our website and Facebook page.

Public Works Department – Joseph Spain – Superintendent of Public Works

The Norridge Public Works Department consists of 10 full time and 1 part-time employee(s). All employees are cross-trained in different fields allowing members to work on any/all Public Works based assignments. On call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Public Works Department continues to provide the unparalleled services expected from Norridge residents.

The Village of Norridge’s Public Works Department is responsible for public services including but not limited to:

Operation and maintenance of the Village’s water distribution infrastructure;

EPA and IEPA mandated water testing and reporting;

Sanitary sewer and storm water collection/conveyance systems;

Public streets and sidewalks;

Street signs and painting of street markings;

Street sweeping;

Snow and ice control;

Operation of Norridge PACE bus service;

Maintenance of Village Fleet

Graffiti Removal

 

Recent Highlights & Accomplishments

In September of 2017, the Public Works Department held its 2nd Annual Open House. We incorporated the Touch-a- Truck event allowing residents and visitors to get a true feel for what it’s like to operate vehicles from our Streets, Police and Fire Departments. The event was a great success as evident by the turnout and positive feedback from the community.

Public Works added a new 2017 Ford F450 utility van to be primarily used for water main repairs and improvements. Additionally, a 2017 Ford F550 dump truck with a plow and salt spreader was added to our fleet.

In 2017 Public Works repaired 48 water main breaks with an additional 33 water main breaks repaired in the early months of 2018. In less than three months (spanning from late December to early March of 2018), our Department repaired 46 water main breaks throughout the community.

Last fall the Village of Norridge resurfaced 10 blocks of streets, replaced 9,600 square feet of sidewalks and 600 feet of curb. This Spring we are planning to resurface four additional blocks as well as patching the streets due to recent repaired water mains. 

The Village of Norridge Public Works Department will continue to provide quality service to the business owners, visitors and residents of this great community as our primary goal is to keep our Village clean, efficient and safe!

 Mark Your Calendars

April 28 & October 20, 2018 - Village of Norridge Electronic & Recycling Events

May 1, 2018 - Vehicle Stickers and Pet Tags sales begin

May 5, 2018 -  Coffee and Conversation with the Mayor

May 27, 2018 - Memorial Day Observance

June 14, 2018 - Flag Day Retirement Ceremony

June 23, 2018 - 2018 Car Show - Divine Savior Parking Lot

 Reminders

For those of you with lawn sprinklers, you will no longer receive a reminder letter from the Village of Norridge.  Reminders will be sent directly from Backflow Solutions, Inc.

 Village of Norridge Survey – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) requires the Village of Norridge to implement a comprehensive cross connection control program.  A requirement of our program is to survey all our water customers every two years.  Backflow Solutions, Inc. will be handling our survey information.  Please go to www.bsiprograms.com/surveys to complete your survey.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Finally, many of our community residents have at one point in time been involved in or enjoyed the benefits of the District 80 band program.  Due to budget constraints, the program will be eliminated at the start of the next school year.  In an effort to save the program, a group of parents and community members have started a campaign called “Save the District 80 Band Program”.  Donations and information are available at www.youcaring.com.  Thousands of students have had the opportunity to participate and enjoy this experience and many would like to see it continue.  To find out how you can help, please contact Patti Igoe-Mann at 708-695-9018.

As always, if you have any questions regarding the above information, or any questions you may have, please contact me, or one of my department heads at 708-453-0800.

Very truly yours,

James Chmura

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