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Pingree Grove may do special census

Updated: June 10, 2013 1:54PM



PINGREE GROVE — Trustees have begun to discuss the pros and cons of conducting a special census in order to validate speculation that Pingree Grove’s population has surpassed 5,000 residents.

Such growth could mean more tax sharing revenue from the state of Illinois.

According to Village Administrator Ken Lopez, the village has 1,763 occupied homes. That’s 246 more than during the 2010 census, when the population was 4,532.

Lopez said the current population could be around 5,245. The next regular census comes in 2020.

Lopez estimates the potential for increased revenue at around $79,615. Village officials have been in contact with the U.S. Census Bureau, but the exact cost for a special census is not yet known. The village did conduct a special census in advance of the 2010 census, at a cost of about $80,000.

Hitting the 5,000-resident milestone also would mean the village would have to establish a pension fund for its police force.

Village President Greg Marston suggested that pension changes could save the village money, while Village Attorney Dean Frieders cautioned trustees not to expect any savings. Lopez said it could take a month to get that answer. Armed with that information, the board hopes to determine whether the special census would be a good investment.

Appointments

In other business, trustees unanimously passed a resolution to keep Jim Kelly as the village’s building code official.

Kelly will continue to provide services that include building inspections and review of plans for residential, commercial and industrial construction, issuing permits, and conducting property maintenance inspections. Under the new contract, Kelly will receive a base fee of $3,785.25 per month to provide inspection services on up to 85 new homes per year. It includes a 2.5 percent increase in each of the next two years above the current contract.

The village will pay $400 per home inspection for new construction that exceeds the 85-home limit. Officials anticipate 170 homes will be built this year in Pingree Grove.

Trustees also approved Marston’s appointments to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mac Sutton will return after completing a one-year term as commissioner. Josh Cossiboon, who did not seek re-election as village trustee, was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Elizabeth Mosier. Sutton and Cossiboon will each serve a three-year term on the commission.

Trustee Ray LaMarca voted no on the appointments, voicing concern that village residents were not made aware of the openings.

Marston responded, “The specific reason that I didn’t throw it out there for open application is the value that Josh brings as a previous commissioner and a trustee.”

“I’m not questioning these two guys, and I’m happy they’re willing to step up,” LaMarca said. “But we have a lot of new homes, and who knows what kind of experience people may have?”

“Plus there are guys who ran but weren’t elected as trustees that obviously wanted to play a part. I just think there were more people that could have been asked.”

LaMarca was one of three people sworn in at Monday night’s meeting for a four-year term on the village board. He and Steve Wiedmeyer won re-election in April. Charles Pearson was elected to his first term as trustee.



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