River Forest budgets $4.4M for capital upgrades

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By Deb Kadin

Contributing Reporter

Critical maintenance in some buildings, new vehicles and initial work on the north side sewer separation project will be part of a $4.429 million capital improvements budget proposed for River Forest next year.

Repairing roads and installing new sewers also will be undertaken as trustees took their first steps toward preparing the budget for the fiscal year, beginning May 1. 

Unveiling the operations portion of the budget — spending on police, fire and administration among other departments — won't take place until early March, Village Administrator Eric Palm said. Approval is expected at that time.

The village will try do all of the projects, but some things might have to be put off if funding isn't available, he said.

 "If the board conceptually is OK doing all these things, we will fold them into the budget as possible," Palm said. 

Among the capital improvements listed as critical are:

Tuckpointing, restoring brick, rebuilding the parapet wall, replacing gutters and downspouts at the public works garage, $167,500. This work is contingent on whether the site and the Hines Lumber property are redeveloped; 

Cleaning the masonry and adding new alarm equipment at the pumping station, $42,500;

Replacing the fingerprinting system that helps police check on records of people in custody, $25,000;

Upgrading and replacing self-contained breathing apparatus for the fire department, $110,000. A grant for this equipment is pending; 

Replacing a sewer televising system, $65,000;

Replacing a brush chipper, $100,000; 

Buying a new salt spreader, $20,000;

Improving streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, $560,000;

Replacing a pumper truck in the fire department, $550,000; 

Replacing a number of vehicles for public works, including pickup trucks, dump trucks, a cargo van and aerial truck, $767,000;

Replacing water mains and water meters, starting work on the north side sewer separation project, among other projects, $1.808 million. 

Funding for this work will come from a variety of sources, including the general fund, capital improvements, water and sewer, motor fuel tax, and the capital equipment replacement funds.

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