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Local News

Plainfield passes $61.4M budget; upholds stricter Tobacco 21 rule

Plainfield
Plainfield

The Plainfield Village Board passed a balanced budget Monday night of about $61.4 million for fiscal 2019.

Village trustees unanimously approved the budget, which takes effect May 1. This is up from the estimated $56.4 million in expenditures for this year, ending April 30.

Traci Pleckham, the village’s director of management services, presented the budget in a public hearing before approval. She said the budget process started last October after the village’s annual audit, with a series of “long and detailed” public workshops.

Pleckham said the village’s property tax rate at 0.4669 will remain the same for the sixth consecutive year. However, with new homes having increased the village’s equalized assessed value by about 3.9 percent, the village expects to see about
$7.5 million in revenue from 2018 property taxes.

Included in the budgeted expenses for the year is $1.8 million for design for the planned 143rd Street extension from Route 59 to Illinois 126 to alleviate traffic congestion. That project is expected to cost between $35 million to $40 million, with the village having received a $20 million federal grant last year.

Construction on that would not start until at least 2021, Pleckham said.

An additional $600,000 is allocated for design for the west extension of 143rd Street from Steiner Road to Ridge Road. This will be done in conjunction with construction this year on 143rd and Steiner of wine and spirit producer Diageo’s new warehouse facility.

Pleckham said construction of that road should start next year.

Separately, Police Chief John Konopek clarified Monday night that despite a divergence from Illinois’ new law, the village would continue to list underage possession of tobacco as illegal under its newly amended ordinance, passed in March.

This ordinance raised the legal age for the sale, purchase and possession of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21.

The state passed a bill last week that prohibits the sale and purchase of cigarettes for those younger than 21 but eliminates penalties for underage possession.

“For some reason, Illinois only made it illegal to buy and sell tobacco, but you can still possess it,” Konopek said. “But in Plainfield, because we are home rule, possession would still be illegal at that point.”

Upon a question from Trustee Cally Larson, who had voted against the measure in March, Konopek explained underage possession would be “strictly an ordinance violation, so basically the equivalent of a parking ticket.”

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