Elmhurst’s City Manager recently released the City’s “Five Year Capital Plan.” The Plan budgets for the City to spend a total of $77,846,902 over five years. The plan (attached to this article) is a good plan which takes into account and covers many of the pressing concerns of our residents.
The City’s Capital Plan breaks down capital expenditures according to Priority (on a scale of A to D; A being an “essential and immediate need”, and D being “optional but beneficial to the City in social, cultural or aesthetic ways”).
The Capital Plan for a York Road Prairie Path Underpass is ranked as an A level priority. My view is that this is more of a C or B level priority. Whether it is considered an A or B level priority, there are simple ways to improve the safety of this Crossing at a fraction of the cost.
Several Aldermen have weighed in on the Prairie Path Underpass concept; and I echo the statements of those who have suggested that there are other way more pressing concerns. The residents of this City are still waiting for implementation of a plan to mitigate the looming issue of storm water flooding and runoff. Homeowners of this City are anxious and fearful of what the next big rainstorm will do to their property.
As a City, we need to re-focus our vision so that our City delivers the necessary city services and projects, not projects that just seem like a good idea. We should not be enamored with a project simply on the basis that there is a contingent state grant to fund a portion of it. Much like buying something you don’t need simply because it is “on sale”, the role of City government is to provide core services, not spend your taxpayer dollars on extravagant projects.