In a unanimous vote at its Nov. 12 meeting, the Mokena Village Board of Trustees voted to approve the village's proposed 2012 property tax levy. The approved levy is an increase of $71,837—or 4.36 percent—from last year's amount, bringing the total tax levy for 2012 to $1,721,358.
The levy comes out to about $0.23 per $100 of equalized assessed value of the property. By way of example, Finance Director Barb Damron said that the village's portion of the property tax bill for a home valued at $300,000 in 2011 would be $215, or about 4 percent of the total tax bill. The other 96 percent of the property tax bill goes to other taxing bodies.
"Of every dollar in taxes that a property owner pays, the village only receives four cents of that dollar," Damron said. "About 63 percent of it goes to the various school districts. The remaining 33 percent is divided amongst the other taxing districts, which include the library, park, Will County, Frankfort Township, forest preserve, and fire district."
Another order of business at the meeting was the approval of Graf Tree Care, Inc. of St. Charles as a private contractor to conduct a tree inventory for the village as a part of the village's response to the recent infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer into the area.
"I know Graf is an exceptionally good arborist," Village Administrator John Downs said. "They've done this for a lot of other towns. I think they were one of the first in the state, actually, that did a tree inventory for St. Charles. So they're excellent at what they do."
Graf will inventory 10,000 trees and 1,000 planting spaces in addition to assisting the village with staff training and the development of an EAB management plan for a total estimated cost of $35,000.
"[The inventory] will allow us to provide a more detailed budget plan and Emerald Ash Borer management plan over the next seven to ten years," Public Works Director Lou Tiberi said. "It will help us with assessment of these trees—every tree, really, but mostly for the Emerald Ash Borer right now. It will be based on the condition of the tree, and what the consultant will be able to tell us is whether we should remove the tree now, remove it later, or whether we'll be able to treat it, because we've budgeted to treat 200 trees in our budget this year."
The inventory is not seasonally impacted, so Graf could start the inventory soon with the goal of completing it by March of 2013, according to Tiberi. In addition to helping with the EAB response, the inventory will give the village more accurate information about the type, size, age, and location of the village's trees. The inventory will result in digital maps cataloguing all of the village's trees, which could help guide future planting efforts by providing a better understanding of what kinds of trees thrive or struggle in various locations around the village.
"The value to this is phenomenal and widespread," said Mayor Joe Werner.
The board also approved a speed limit reduction for 191st Street between La Grange Road and Wolf Road. The speed limit will be reduced from 45 mph to 40 mph, effective Dec. 1, as a part of the village's efforts to implement a "quiet zone" along the Metra Rock Island rail line.
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