Grant program, new development highlight Palatine mayor's 'State of the Village' address
Palatine plans to launch a grant program soon that will cover half the cost for property owners who want to replace their private lead water service lines.
Mayor Jim Schwantz announced the program Wednesday during his annual "State of the Village" address presented by the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Consumer Credit Union. About 20 people were allowed to attend the event at village hall, and the address also was broadcast on Zoom.
Schwantz won reelection Tuesday in an uncontested race.
According to Village Manager Reid Ottesen, there are an estimated 200 to 300 properties with lead service lines throughout the village, and replacing those lines is estimated to cost roughly $10,000, based on the distance to the water main.
Under the new program, the village would pay 50% of the cost and the property owners would pay the rest. The program will be funded by a $570,000 grant from the Northwest Water Commission, which allows its member communities to decide how to use the money, Ottesen said.
Ottesen said he hopes to bring the program to the village council for approval next month. If there is a lot of demand, the village might seek additional funding, he added.
Schwantz praised the work of Ottesen and other staff members who steered the village through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Palatine took action to save $5.2 million from the 2020 budget and has a 2021 balanced budget of $118 million -- a decrease of 3.76% -- with no property tax increase. The village refinanced bonds for $2 million in savings, and retained its AA+ bond rating from S & P Global Ratings.
Schwantz and Ottesen also gave an update about upcoming development in the village.
On Monday night, the village council approved a plan to build two new warehouse/light manufacturing buildings on the former Weber-Stephen Products vacant site along Hicks Road.
Plans are taking shape to redevelop Regency Plaza at Quentin Road and Euclid Avenue into a Deer Park Crossing townhouse development, with some commercial space on the outlot, Schwantz said. The developer would tear down all the buildings there except the Fifth Third bank building, Ottesen said.
A medical center building and a 7-Eleven with a drive-through car wash are coming to the northeast corner of Palatine Road and Northwest Highway, Schwantz said.
The village received one proposal for a new operator for the former Starbucks in the Palatine Metra station. Pending staff review, the new operator should open in fall, Ottesen said.
The village also expects proposals in the next six months for "nontraditional" uses for the Park Place Shopping Center, on the southwest corner of Rand and Dundee roads, Ottesen said. Palatine Township Elementary School District 15 in February decided to abandon plans to build a new school there.
As for the old village hall at 150 W. Wilson St., the village will wait to see whether the adjacent commuter parking lot will be needed after the pandemic, Ottesen said. If not, "that opens up a whole new world of opportunity for us" in terms of possible development, he said.
On a not-so-positive note, the Illinois Department of Transportation decided to install a median barrier along Dundee Road from east of Baldwin Road to Rand Road, which the village didn't want, Schwantz said. However, IDOT was persuaded to add openings along the median, and a traffic light will be installed at the Walmart exit.
"That's a benefit that's coming out of that," Schwantz said.