Statement from Poplar Grove Village President Owen Costanza
On Monday December 14th, I filed petitions for re-election for Poplar Grove Village President and will be on the ballot in the April 6, 2021, Consolidated General Election. I want to thank all of the residents who signed my petition allowing me to be on the ballot.
Working together we have accomplished the following:
✓ 62 new home constructed, 7.1 million dollars in equalized assessed value Aprox $300,000 in new property taxes to our country is taxing bodies included in that number – $134,000 new tax dollars to the school district.
✓ 2 parks were completed and equipped with new equipment
✓ West Grove Park grading was completed providing enough space for use by residents
✓ Property has been purchased in Concord Crossings for a future park
✓ We have received $40,000 in grants and donations from the Realtor’s Association for our parks.
✓ The West Grove pavilion was scheduled to be built this year but was delayed due to Covid 19 and we will be rescheduled for 2021.
✓ In area of Water & Sewer changes were made in management and new and empty homes are now sharing in the billing. The billable properties have gone from 1,700 four years ago to 2,200 today. For the first time ever Water & Sewer did not need additional funds from the General fund and it is now self sufficient.
✓ We will have a new public work building in the next few years. A grant of $200,000 was an enormous step along with our savings over the year for the capital improvement.
✓ A grant for water drainage and work has been secured for drainage issues on Washington Street.
✓ We spent the last 4 years working on many drainage issues and have corrected many issues from the Waco Lift stations and many of the retention ponds.
The year 2020 has been a very frustrating year for all of us with Covid-19 phone calls and emergency regional meetings consuming a lot of our time. We continue to try and work through the difficulties and the challenges and we know that no one has been spared the impact of this pandemic.
Despite the fact that many activities have been shut down we did manage to safely provide a great fireworks display and tree lighting event. Thank you to all who attended these community activities.
Working closely and diligently we have secured a CURE grant for $207,214, $25,000 for a local Restaurant and have applied for a $200,000 small business grant to help our local businesses. All of this was possible because our current staff is working with all our local, state and federal elected leaders trying to bring back as much as we can here locally.
Our goals for the next 4 years will include finishing the dog park, West Grove Pavilion, and update more equipment. If the Belvidere Park District decides not to help develop the new park in Concord Crossing then we will begin to apply for grants to help build the park.
We will continue to promote, attract and build new homes in our existing subdivisions using our expanded infrastructure. We will continue to work with Growth Dimensions to promote and attract business in our village.
Our Water & Sewer bonds are the closest we have ever been to having them paid off and eliminate the interest payments. In 2028 the bonds will be fully paid. The bonds are what dictate our rates and the annual increase currently.
I will work with the engineer and the Water Department to determine a formula for when these are paid where a set amount of money goes for capital improvements and a set amount goes toward price reduction.
The residents paid the price of the downturn in housing and, quite frankly, bad planning for the region and we all deserve the tax relief when the bonds are paid off. We will be close to debt free at that time and in the future I would like to see some strict guidelines for the village before we borrow money.
I am thankful to the people of Poplar Grove for having given me the opportunity to serve as their Village President. We have accomplished much but more needs to be done and it is my hope that the voters decide to let me continue our progress. I look forward to serving another term and I thank you for your support.