Record sum for road improvements in Mundelein’s new budget, officials say

Mundelein officials have set aside $7 million for road improvement projects in the budget for the 2025 fiscal year.
Daily Herald File Photo

Mundelein’s newly approved $73.7 million annual budget includes a record sum for road improvements, as well as money for public safety staffing increases and other expenditures, officials said Monday.

The village board unanimously approved the spending plan Monday night. The 2025 fiscal year begins May 1.

Annual spending is expected to increase about 8% from the current year’s roughly $66 million total, Village Administrator Eric Guenther said in an email before the meeting. Guenther blamed the increase on economic inflation.

“Expenditures rose higher in nearly ever category, and we expect that increase to continue,” he said.

The spending estimate includes about $7 million for road projects throughout the village, Guenther said. The budget typically includes between $4 million and $5 million for such projects, he said.

Officials are increasing the workload to use up the remainder of the cash Mundelein received through the 2019 Rebuild Illinois infrastructure program, Guenther said. About $1.6 million remains, he said.

Sections of seven streets — including Fieldcrest Drive, Franklin Street and Kettering Road — will be resurfaced, documents indicate. Additionally, stretches of North Shore Drive, Garfield Avenue and other streets will undergo more intense reconstruction. Water mains in the Mundelein Gardens neighborhood will be repaired, too.

Construction should begin in May and wrap up in October.

Additionally, the police and fire departments each will get an additional employee in the new fiscal year, and a social worker position that had been funded by a grant now will be covered by tax dollars, Guenther said. The departments are expanding because officials anticipate the village population will grow, he said.

Officials predict the village’s revenue from taxes, fees and other sources also will be about $73.7 million, resulting in a balanced budget. The total is up about 7% from the current year’s nearly $69 million sum.

Guenther credited the increase to rising interest rates in the village’s accounts.

But officials also had to take into account the likely loss of $500,000 in revenue from the village’s portion of the state’s 1% grocery tax. State officials have proposed eliminating that tax but haven’t yet made a final decision.

To make up for that possible financial loss, the village board last month approved increasing the local sales tax rate a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25%, effective July 1. That means the overall sales tax in town on most goods will be 8.25%.

Increasing the village’s share of sales tax could generate $1.2 million annually, officials have said.

If state leaders opt not to scrap the grocery tax, Mundelein officials will consider decreasing the village sales tax starting in January 2025. The sales tax can only be changed effective Jan. 1 or July 1 of each year.

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