Several interesting issues are on the horizon for residents of the southeastern DuPage village. Here's a look at topics likely to add another chapter throughout 2013.
Competition for Downers Grove Village Council
Six people entered the race for three seats on the Village Council, including two current council members who are seeking re-election.
Commissioner Marilyn Schnell has been on the council since 1988 and will be seeking a sixth term. Commissioner Bob Barnett will be seeking a second term.
Residents David Olsen, Susan Walaszek, Gregory Hose and Donald Jankowski also entered the race.
Olsen is a committeeman for the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization. He graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2011 and currently works at an energy trading company in Chicago.
Walaszek served on the village's Human Service Commission from 2008 to 2010. An attorney by trade, she has also been a member of the Downers Grove Chamber of Commerce and of Friends of the Library.
Hose is running for a seat on the council for the second time. He is chair of the village's plan commission and previously served on the Environmental Concerns Commission.
Jankowski is also pursuing a council position for the second time. He is part of the executive committee of Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation and is a partner with accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLC.
Commissioner William Waldack announced in November that he would not seek a third term on the council. The consolidated election will take place on April 9.
New fees for property owners
Everyone in Downers Grove will start paying into the pot for storm water expenses this year when a new utility fee takes effect.
Property owners now will be charged a fee based on how much runoff a parcel generates, which will go into a fund to pay for infrastructure maintenance and other expenses. Previously, the village used a portion of the property tax to pay for storm water.
Monthly fees for homeowners could range between $6.30 and $12.60, depending on the size of the property.
Despite weeks and months of reminders to residents that this fee will be in place, village officials repeatedly acknowledged the change is likely to cause some significant confusion.
Churches and other non-taxable entities must also pay up, much to their dismay. Church officials have estimated that their bills could run into the thousands.
The first bills reflecting the new storm water utility fee will go out in January and February.
Work will start at Valley View Pond
After months of discussion between village officials and residents, the village council voted to naturalize the pond at Valley View Estates, turning it into a flowing waterway.
The village agreed to a $549,000 contract with a Sycamore-based company to design and construct the project.