Roads and development among Frankfurt’s big budget investments

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FRANKFORT, IL – Residents of Frankfort can expect to see a lot of work done over the next year on its roads, improvements to its water and sewer facilities and a new software system for the village that will allow residents better access to services, such as utility payments, permit applications and home inspections.

The Village of Frankfurt released details of its budget for the 2022-2023 financial year on Wednesday. The budget represents general fund revenue of just over $23 million, an increase of about $3.5 million from the previous year, according to Village documents. It also represents an operating surplus of close to $4.7 million, which will be used to finance part of the Village Capital Assets Fund.

The Village has a $7 million budget for road resurfacing projects. There are 130 miles of road in the village to maintain, according to Frankfort Mayor Keith Ogle.

“We were well behind the maintenance curve,” Ogle said. Going back to 2017-18, the Village only had about $400,000 budget for roadwork, he said.

Investing in road resurfacing now will ultimately save the village money so that resurfacing projects don’t turn into road reconstruction projects, which would cost the village one and a half to two times the costs of resurfacing, Ogle said.

The village passed a non-domestic sales tax referendum in November 2018 and began collecting that revenue in 2019, Ogle said. That sales tax money was specifically earmarked for roadwork and infrastructure improvements, as well as hiring additional police officers, Ogle said.

In addition to the money set aside for roadwork, the village has approximately $3.9 million budgeted for the Pfeiffer Road extension from U.S. Route 30 to Colorado Avenue. This expansion will open up a development corridor that could range from new housing to new businesses to new recreational areas, Ogle said.

“It’s a big thing for us,” Ogle said. “This will connect near the library on route 30 and will connect to Colorado Avenue, which will open up this whole area from, basically, the library to Mariano, which we call the central corridor of route 30, as shown in our [2040] Global plan, opening it up to development.”

Ogle said he expects bids to start coming out in June for the Highway 30 Central Corridor development.

This year’s budget also includes $4.5 million for upgrades to the new Elsner Tower shaft and iron removal facility, as well as funding for ongoing water main replacement, replacing lead service lines and improving the sewage system, according to village documents.

One item in particular that Ogle said he’s most excited about is the $300,000 budget to upgrade the village’s 20-year-old computer system. The upgraded system, called enterprise resource planning software, will give residents an easier way to pay bills, apply for permits and search public records, among other tools offered by the software.

“The financial aspects will all be linked, the different departments will actually be able to talk on one system,” Ogle said. “So this is a huge thing that we’ve been looking at for a year.”

Completion of the enterprise resource planning software is expected to take about 10 to 12 months, Ogle said.

He added that although the costs of almost everything have increased, especially in the past two years, the Village has no plans to cut any of its resident services. In fact, the budget includes allowances to connect bike paths and parts of the Old Plank Road trail, and even a street sweeper for the public works department.

“We want everything to stay clean and welcoming here, and this is just a continuation of that process,” Ogle said. “We look forward to very good things in the future with us.”

Readers can view the full details of the budget online by following this link.

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