Closing in on Naperville Township Collaboration

At the latest city council meeting, members were faced with many questions as to how an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the township highway department would work.

Under the proposal, the city would maintain the township’s roughly 16 miles of roads in order to save about $800,000 a year by combining forces, a plan council members agree is a good start toward savings.

“It’s one of the most meaningful steps any of the communities and suburbs have taken towards efficiency. The savings are very substantial and the math used to evidence those savings are irrefutable,” said Councilman Kevin Coyne.

The plan would utilize the township’s equipment and add more operators to keep up adequate service levels.

Final say on the agreement would come from Township Highway Commissioner Stan Wojtasiak, who agreed to continue discussions with the city to work out a deal, but first wants to ensure his residents get their needs addressed.

“These are our voters, we have to satisfy our voters, that’s who we work for. I’m concerned about my employees, I’d have to let them all go and I’m concerned about satisfying our constituents in our subdivisions,” said Wojtasiak.

Wojtasiak did get approval from the township board to delay approving their budget while he negotiates with the city.

Other business at the meeting included the approval of a contract for preliminary engineering for improvements to the downtown Washington street bridge.

Originally built in 1928, and later reconstructed in 1977, the bridge has reached the end of its useful life and will be studied to determine what changes need to be made.

“We would look at all the different things about the bridge, how wide it needs to be, the type, size and location of it, how much land would be required, all the different constraints and everything short of actually designing the bridge,” said Bill Novack, Director of Transportation, Engineering and Development group with the city.

The cost of the first phase of engineering is about  $327,000, 80 percent of which will be paid by the Federal Highway Administration, with the rest falling to the city. Construction is not expected for three to four years.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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