A $1.3 million Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project heads the list of the five-year capital improvement plan unveiled at a virtual River Forest Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting, Jan. 25.

Capital expenditures are estimated to be $19.8 million over the five years, $6.8 million of which is expected to be spent in fiscal year 2022, which begins May 1.

Unveiling the capital improvement plan is the first step of the budget process.  Officials said the plan is generally amended during the budget process as determinations are made for items to be moved forward or deferred, based on current information. In April, a preliminary budget will be prepared, a recommended budget will be presented to the village board and a public hearing will be held. The final step in the process will be adoption of the budget, which is expected at the Monday, April 26, village board meeting.

The AMI project, which would allow for automatic water meter reading and leak detection, was originally discussed in October. It would entail upgrading water meters in all water customer locations throughout the village with state-of-art equipment that will allow the village to obtain meter readings without requiring Public Works staff members to perform a “drive by” read, which is the current practice. 

John Anderson, public works director, explained in October that the project would deliver better customer service by providing accurate bills based on actual consumption that can be seen in real time with meter reads on a daily basis. It can also help identify any irregularities in water usage such as leaks being experienced by residents, he added. 

Also on the list of proposed capital improvement projects in FY2022 is $650,000 for street improvements. 

Streets to be resurfaced under the program include Hawthorne Avenue from Thatcher Avenue to Forest Avenue; Gale Avenue from Hawthorne to Washington Boulevard; Keystone Avenue from Hawthorne to Madison Street; Linden Street from Thatcher to Forest; and Forest from Hawthorne to the cul-de-sac. Also, Keystone from Division Street to Thomas Street; Forest from Division to Thomas; Park Avenue from Division to Thomas; and Thomas from Forest to Lathrop Avenue.

Although a few trustees had comments and questions, presentation of the capital improvement plan by Lisa Scheiner, assistant village administrator, was accepted without major discussion.

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