Later in the first half of the semester, the Board of Public Utilities will take public comment on its proposal for the 2015-2016 business plan and budget for the City of La Grange. The proposal will represent the first major change to the document since 2010 when a multi-year package of regulations on the size of business wells, water sources and treatment, environmental protection, and a new utility structure passed.
The public comment period begins Jan. 27 and runs through Feb. 23, and is scheduled to be held at City Hall, 150 W. Main St., at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Board of Public Utilities consists of one commissioner and four commissioners, who must represent residents and businesses of La Grange.
Village staff will offer a summary of the proposal on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. to the Board of Public Utilities, which then will take comments. Those comments will be discussed during the public comment period.
“The goal of the City’s 2015-2016 Business Plan is to serve the citizens of La Grange, strengthen business and increase the economic value of the community,” the proposal states.
The plan was reviewed by the Economic Development Committee, which consists of the Commissioners of City Operations, Planning and Development and Public Works, and the Board of Public Utilities, which consisted of Mayor Jim Dyke and six Commissioners.
The proposal outlines new initiatives to enhance the appearance of downtown by revamping areas near the former Hamilton Bank on La Grange Road and at the former US Bank on Main Street into special shopping and entertainment areas called Main Street Landing, and upgrading and expanding the existing parking facilities and infrastructure downtown. The proposal also outlines plans for encouraging new developments.
Economic Development Commissioner Jim Benoit said the commission discussed the proposal during their regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 13, and the commissioners chose to proceed with additional public comments.
“It’s important for people to have their say,” Benoit said. “We’re just letting people know what the proposal is and giving them a chance to comment on it, and it will still go up for a vote before the Board of Public Utilities.”
There are 28 registered candidates for the five seats on the Board of Public Utilities and one candidate on the ballot for the Office of Councilman at Large. Voters can participate in the selection of Board of Public utility commissioners by placing their vote for all five candidates or candidates for Councilman at Large at the top of the ballot or both at the top and bottom of the ballot.
The Nov 4 municipal election will also include creating two additional City Council seats and the opening of a school board position in the first ward. Election day will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and election day registration will be at the La Grange Board of Elections, 1 S. Walnut Ave., on Election Day.