Prior to 1996, Lincolnwood had no comprehensive infrastructure capital construction or maintenance plan in place. In fact, a major road collapse led to every road in Lincolnwood being replaced from 1996 to 2001.
Over the last two decades, we are proud to have transitioned to a more proactive approach to ensure our residents have smooth travels, access to safe drinking water, and protection against flooding. To make sure that we never find ourselves in that position again, we developed and adopted long range infrastructure management plans and have worked diligently to stay on course. This was reinforced with the creation of the Ad-Hoc Infrastructure Committee in 2017 to provide direction on capital improvements. Recommendations made by the committee, and currently being implemented by the Village Board and staff, include:
– Resurface all local roads over the immediate 10-year period, with a long-term goal of resurfacing them on a continual basis every 20 years;
– Replace our water mains originally installed in the 1920s that are currently rated as poor condition and 15% of water mains rated as fair condition;
The Alliance supported the first major storm water management plan in the Village’s history, using a surface storage system; thereby achieving greater benefits at a lower cost. The Alliance will continue to prioritize updating our infrastructure throughout the Village, including but not limited to our roads, sewers, lead water service line replacement and stormwater management.
Our recent project successes include:
– A $13M transmission main project in 2019 changed our water source from the City of Chicago to the City of Evanston. This ensures Lincolnwood residents have a reliable water supply and at a lower cost and utilizes cost savings to fund water infrastructure updates throughout the Village;
– $8M+ in road and water main improvements since 2019 to replace aging roadways and watermains; and
– Completion of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of our Street Storage Program to minimize flooding within the Village. The final phase of these improvements (Stage 3) will be completed in the next year.
Alliance Party Board Members brought Lincolnwood into a fiscally responsible and successful position over the previous 22 years, which has resulted in the ability to navigate the difficult times we now face.
Lincolnwood benefited from a strong economy from 1991 to 2006, seeing record property value increases and a flurry of new home construction to replace smaller homes built during the 40s and 50s. The Lincolnwood Town Center was developed. Village Hall and the pool were built. Village officials saw to it that we have our own fire department. Car dealerships Loeber and Grossinger built huge businesses. Generally, things in Lincolnwood were going well.
Due to outside economic factors Lincolnwood has endured reductions of as much as $1.6 million annually in sales taxes since the peak in 2007. From 2016 until the start of the COVID era, the Village enjoyed one of the most robust economic periods in modern history. We have effectively adjusted spending during COVID to ensure services are still being delivered.
With careful planning and management we were able to secure the financing necessary to initiate the first 2 phases of the 10-year infrastructure improvement program with zero property tax increases. Despite the difficult situation we are faced with, Alliance Party efforts have made it possible to continue the implementation of the plan and achieve savings due to the favorable financing and construction climates.
The Alliance Party diligently reviews every expenditure of the village to ensure our tax dollars are not wasted.
We believe in professional management and responsible budgeting. The budget process instituted under the Alliance Party is comprehensive and we leave no stone unturned. We typically receive awards for excellence and carry an excellent credit rating. After having our credit rating downgraded during the previous administration, we have restored our favorable status and are poised for future growth.
The Village has recently transitioned to a new Village Finance Director, who has brought strong leadership and institutional experience that is invaluable to managing the budget process.
Our candidates are business owners with degrees in Public Administration, Civil Engineering and Public Policy, with real estate and construction experience, and first hand knowledge of our Village budget and processes.
Through their professional experience and in their service to the Village, our candidates combine to bring a wealth of knowledge in the areas of public policy, public infrastructure, public finance such as grants and TIFs, bidding and contract negotiations, and organizational management. They are ready to do the work of the Village.
After the recent economic downturn because of COVID 19 and issues with the supply chain, our Village cut spending to continue providing essential services to the residents. Staffing levels were reviewed and the organizational structure of the Village personnel was revised to gain efficiency without sacrificing service.
Under the leadership of the Alliance party, staff has been able to secure many federal and state grants to improve the Village. We are always looking to reevaluate our contacts to save us money and have just successfully negotiated with MWRD for $500,000 of repairs to Centennial Park, costing the residents nothing to repair and upgrade our park.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) shows that after personnel, the biggest expense for the Village is capital improvements to infrastructure and equipment. Roads, sidewalks, water mains, sewers, streetlights, fire trucks, snowplows all require maintenance, repair and replacement on a constant and ongoing basis. Alliance Board Members established long-range planning of capital improvements (Capital Improvement Plan) and, because of this effective planning, Village staff have been able to manage myriad projects using existing revenues together with bonds and grants without having to raise residents’ property taxes above the consumer price index.
We have led the Village to pay off all general fund debt and have a credit rating of AA2 as a result of our careful management of resources.
The Village of Lincolnwood has benefited greatly from a culture of planning which has been instilled and supported by the Alliance for more than 20 years. We invested a significant amount of Village Board and Staff time in 2021 and 2022 to update the Village’s Comprehensive Strategic Plan, our roadmap for the utilization of our resources for the next decade.
This effort led to the direction to create a new Park Master Plan as well as a Facilities Master Plan. Both will ensure that our aging facilities are brought into modern standards to serve the diverse community that is Lincolnwood. These plans will also assist us in seeking and obtaining financial assistance, such as grants, enabling us to leverage our spending to maximize the benefits we receive.
Investing In Our Parks
The Alliance understands the importance of maintaining and improving our excellent park system in the Village. We all appreciate our greatest park asset, Proesel Park and its Family Aquatic Center, which has served as the foundation to our park system. We are proud to have 12 other active parks to serve our residents spread across the Village.
The Alliance strives to keep our parks and trails in great condition and state-of-the-art. We recently approved a complete rehabilitation of Flowers Park that included improving the tennis and basketball courts, replacing the playground structure, and installing a new Gaga Ball Court shelter and restrooms. We are proud that we were able to obtain a grant to support this project for $400,000.00 as part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’s Open Space Land and Development Grant Application Process.
We are also blessed to receive a $100,000.00 donation to the Village, with additional donations committed for a total of $1 million over ten years, to support enhancements to our park facilities and camp offerings. These improvements are focused on improving ADA accessibility to our parks including installation of soft surfaces and splash pads at playgrounds.
The Alliance trustees have initiated development of a Park Master Plan to understand what long-term improvements to our parks are needed and create a CIP to budget for these improvements. We are optimistic these improvements will include a highly-desired dog park within the Village for our furry friends.
Public safety is the most important responsibility of the local government. Our candidates work closely with and support our police department wholeheartedly. We have secured a grant to add an additional police officer to increase our ability to protect our residents and businesses and their property. We have also received a grant to obtain body cameras for every police officer, protecting both the residents and the officers.
Alliance Board Members continue to encourage the Village to increase funding to the pension fund to minimize the shortfall that we inherited from previous administrations.
Our candidates support safe paths to school and police department staffing for school crossings. Alliance Board Members’ push to install red light cameras at Touhy and Lincoln has resulted in substantial reduction in crashes at this very heavily traveled intersection. We advocated for and implemented the addition of miles of new sidewalks and street lights along McCormick, Touhy, and Devon where they never existed before.
Our candidates support proven common sense crime prevention: lock your doors, install and use outside lights and visible cameras, and other tools for crime prevention. We encourage residents to start up neighborhood watches on their blocks and we support subsidizing street lamps installed by homeowners to improve visibility at night.
Our beloved Fire Chief Mike Hanson has retired and we are excited about his replacement, Chief Barry Liss, a veteran firefighter with years of leadership skills. Along with retiring Chief Hanson, our 33 year old fire engine has also been retired. It has been replaced with a newer interim truck until our new one arrives. This along with the new Ambulance station at the Carrington will provide the latest Fire and safety technology to serve the residents.
District 1860, formerly the Purple Hyatt, represents a culmination of efforts of Lincolnwood Alliance Party members in their service to the Village. From the institution of a Hotel Sales Tax, to the creation of a TIF District, and most importantly to the development and adoption of the concept plan showing multi-story, multi-family, mixed-use development; Alliance members have been the driving force behind the creation of Lincolnwood’s first mixed-use development in its history. The site, totaling more than 8 acres, will be the home to an Amazon Fresh Grocery store, a 150+ room dual-branded Marriott Hotel, 50,000 square feet of restaurant and retail uses, and 299 luxury residential units featuring a one-acre amenity deck. This development will generate substantial new tax revenue for the Village and will prove to be the impetus for the reshaping of the Touhy Ave commercial corridor, one of the strongest in the region. Learn more about District 1860 here: District 1860 Project Background | Lincolnwood Village, IL.
Sales taxes are the biggest source of revenue for Lincolnwood and, unlike property taxes, they are largely paid by non-residents.
As COVID-19 had a negative impact on the Village’s revenue, Lincolnwood had endured reductions of as much as $1.6 million annually in Sales Taxes since the peak in 2007. The Alliance party and Village staff worked diligently to help support our businesses to recover. We allowed outside dining and the delivery of beer and wine with meals. This helped businesses to remain open and continue generating sales tax revenue during the lockdown.
Managing our Sales Tax rates to keep pace with our neighbors as well as instituting new Use Taxes such as the food and beverage tax have allowed us to maintain service levels without raising property taxes above the consumer price index.
Retaining existing high volume sales tax producers like Loeber, Zeigler and Food For Thought, and attracting and accommodating new ones like Binny’s, Stefani Prime, and Wal-Mart is key to long-term stability. With new businesses like Amazon fresh, the new restaurants and Hotel at 1860 (Touhy and Lincoln), should greatly enhance our revenue stream, to deliver services, improve infrastructure, and help keep our property taxes low.
True success comes from a mix of supporting renovation and expansion of existing businesses along with new development. The Alliance brings unique first-hand expertise marketing and implementing developments in the Chicagoland area.
We support public-private partnership utilizing sales tax sharing, TIF districts, and property improvement grants such as PEP and GIFT.
We created retail zoning overlays in industrial districts on Devon and Touhy to allow more desirable uses to locate in these areas but to allow existing uses to remain and flourish. This change brought new construction and new occupancy to both zones.
Most of the new construction development in Lincolnwood in the last 10 years has been a direct result of Alliance Party efforts and initiatives. The creation and adoption of concept plans showing high density multi-family mid-rise residential development at the site is certainly what attracted the current developer to the site.
Foresight and planning have been key to new development in Lincolnwood. The creation of the Touhy-Lincoln TIF allowed for the assembly of lots that comprise the purple hotel site that exists today.
We strive to interact with the community, both residents and businesses, to ascertain needs and concerns which allows us to meet those needs and concerns. Just a few recent examples include increasing allowable building area for single family homes, revising the fence code to permit more modern styles and materials, and the allowance for temporary structures. These changes were all the direct result of resident outreach and interaction.
We understand the importance of urban connectivity. Our residents need easy access within the Village and to the larger metropolitan area. This applies to all aspects of our life, whether work or play. Many of us enjoy walking to our local places of worship, parks, trail systems or coffee shops. We want easy access to the Edens Expressway and to downtown. Municipalities with good connectivity are more vibrant, accessible, productive, and enjoyable.
The Alliance has supported the long-needed development of a pedestrian bridge over the North Shore Channel at Pratt Avenue. This connection will provide our residents with bike and pedestrian access to West Ridge. We were able to pay for a large portion of the preliminary engineering efforts with a $70,000 Invest in Cook grant from Cook County.
The Pratt Avenue pedestrian bridge couples with our investment to improve Pratt Avenue with protected bike lanes to provide a safe and continuous bike path between the lakefront and the popular pedestrian/cycling paths west of Lincolnwood.
We are proud that we are now able to maintain pedestrian access year-round to our trail system, major business corridors and sidewalks along Pratt Avenue. This comes with the purchase of the Village’s first sidewalk snow vehicle.