Applying for FEMA grant money.
On two 2008 storm water related projects the village is an applicant for FEMA grant money, to the tune of a couple million bucks. There’s also the opportunity to be a sub-applicant to the state for more of the same FEMA money. FEMA has nation-wide funds of about $25 million annually for precisely this type of work, and the state gets a minimum $500,000 extra to dole out as it sees fit. Starting during Mayor Krajewski’s term, our village government got pretty good at writing for grant requests and filling applications (way, WAY harder than it sounds).
Last year all of the federal money was granted, but like I said, our village staff is pretty good at putting together a grant request, plus we have the detailed engineering study and can produce proper plans documenting what’s to be done. FEMA likes that.
In 2007, the state awarded only a bit over $100K of the $500K available. That left almost $400K unused. We could use that each year easy. I emailed VM Pavlicek and asked if we are applying both as an applicant (for federal money) and as a sub-applicant (for state funds), and Megan is supposed to get back to me.
Home Rule Sales Tax (HRST) Hike
Tuesday council approved raising our HRST based take from ½ cent to ¾ cent. Technically, they’re raising it 50%. It does have a sunset clause and “become null and void at the end of the debt service issued for stormwater related improvements.”
Each ¼ cent of Home Rules Sales Tax currently generates $2,300,000.
They also approved a 1% hike in the telecommunications tax, from 5% to 6%, a 20% raise in the rate.
The proposed increase will take effect on July 1, 2008. Revenue generated by this increase in FY08 is estimated to be $410,000, which will be used to fund expenditures in the Capital Projects Fund. The full year revenue generated by this tax increase for FY09 is estimated to be $820,000.
There is no sunset clause for this tax hike, because it fuels the Capital Projects Fund. The money can be spent on whatever the village says, whether it be sewers or streets…or a new Fleet Services building, a new Police Station, or a new Civic Center.
A Great Idea
Linda Kunze reads minds.
Staff has been working on this one off-radar, but it’s a great idea and deserves to see the light of day.
I’ve been talking about a single downtown waste hauler since the last election; then we can do recycling downtown, cut down on garbage truck traffic, and we could make our alleys and business rear areas look a lot better. The village could also place recycling cans around downtown; permanent ones instead of the temporary ones we see at downtown events.
Talk about a topic no one wanted to hear.
Linda Kunze, Downtown Manager of the Downers Grove Downtown Management Corporation, thinks it’s a great idea, is in a position to do something about it, and is pushing forward. The village has committed to build a total of three common dumpster areas around downtown, to centralize and clean up collection areas, making it very easy for downtown commercial businesses to recycle just like we do at our curbs every week.
This means tons of paper, cans glass, all going to recycling instead of to landfills, and we get cleaner looking alleyways. That opens the possibility for further development. Check Naperville’s downtown: there are a couple areas where there are backyard restaurant patios, and rear-facing clusters of shops on former alleys. I’m not saying that’s what will happen, I’m saying those types of things become possible.
The first centralized collection area goes in this spring, the two additional units the following year. Downtown Downers Grove will get the businesses invested in the concept and use. Council can help move things along by making it clear they support this, and expect businesses to get on board.
Bravo, Ms. Kunze.