The village and town of Oregon have been working to establish an agreement on Lincoln Road maintenance and improvements for more than two years.
Monday, the Village Board took a significant step forward, approving a resolution to enter an intergovernmental agreement regarding the “crazy quilt” boundary line. The Town Board would also need to approve it, and then the village would have to adopt an ordinance.
If the resolution and ordinances are adopted as planned, road improvements could happen as early as next year.
The town owns part of the road, and the village owns the other part. As the road continues to deteriorate and becomes more damaged and dangerous, the two sides need to determine who would be responsible for portions of the upcoming repairs.
Town residents shared concerns over the project, mostly about the potential property tax bill that could come to some town residents from the village if the boundary lines are redefined. While village attorney Matt Dregne and some trustees said the tax on a public right of way would likely be “small,” trustees agreed that they want to have those answers before the ordinance, a future step in the process, is approved.
“The end goal is to make it easier and cleaner to know who owns what on Lincoln Road and that the village is spending money on an actual village road instead of a town road,” village administrator Mike Gracz explained during the meeting.
The resolution establishes an agreement valid until Nov. 1, 2021, including a deadline that both the town and the village would have their portion of the road “cleaned up,” which includes asphalt pulverization for repairs and the addition of a shoulder for the village and resurfacing for the town. Trustees said they want to also consider adding a bike trail.
Funds for the road improvements would come from a dedicated Lincoln Road improvement account the village has been keeping from area developments, such as Bergamont, and public works director Jeff Rau said the village will put around $800,000 toward the project from the fund. That includes $200,000 that will be sent to the town for its portion.
Trustee Jerry Bollig said he didn’t want to keep waiting on something that has been in the works for so long.
“I want to approve the agreement as is, trust that Matt (Dregne) has told us the correct info, and let the Town Board approve it and come back to answer questions that we need to answer,” he said. “We need to come up with a solution about the taxes, but that’s not tonight.”