Bridgeview OKs budget
Board also focuses on vacant properties
By Steve Metsch
The Bridgeview Village Board has approved a balanced budget for 2021.
The board unanimously approved the $30.6 million budget at its meeting held at noon on Dec. 16.
“The budget is done on time and balanced this year,” Mayor Steve Landek said.
No trustees commented about the budget. No were any comments made during the public hearing held prior to the vote.
The biggest revenue sources are $6.6 million in sales tax and $3.6 million in property tax.
The largest expenditures, as with most communities, is found in public safety with the fire department ($4.4 million) and police department ($3.75 million) leading the way.
Bridgeview Village Trustee Norma Pinion was in the holiday spirit at the most recent meeting. Photo by Steve Metsch.
In other business, the board unanimously approved a tougher stance regarding defaulted, vacant and rented properties.
“We have a lot of vacant property, and houses that are rented,” Trustee Claudette Struzik said. “We need to oversee them, and make sure that these people are taking care of the property.”
Trustee James Cecott agreed: “We definitely need to keep an eye on these What is it? Forty-five homes (in the village) are rented and 70 some are in foreclosure?”
Under the changes approved, owners need to register defaulted properties with the village or face stiff fines.
A non-refundable registration fee will be $300 for each property. The registration fee will be $150, also not refundable, for each rental property.
Owners of vacant properties will be required to post a sign identifying the owner and how he or she can be contacted.
Violations of the code can cost up to $1,000 per day.
After the meeting, Struzik said: “Instead of selling the house, they rent them, and they don’t take care of them. Then they go to foreclosure (resulting in) all kinds of problems.”
“Just like any apartment building,” she said. “Not mine. I own one (in the village). And it’s well maintained.”
“It can get ugly. I own a four-flat, but anything’s that broken, I fix right away,” she said. “It costs more money if I wait. I don’t have trouble with the tenants because I treat them good. They take care of the place. Most apartment buildings are not like that.”
The board also approved hiring Alex Kukla as a firefighter/paramedic.
Fire Chief Michael Daly said that Kukla “is a part-time firefighter at a local department. He’s been through the Fire Academy and is a licensed paramedic.”
“We give them an orientation and they get right to work. Before, we sent through all the schools. That’s the difference,” Daly said. “We show them our rules, our regulations, our way of doing things, our city, our equipment, our people, and they’re ready to go.”
— Desplaines Valley News