We are sensitive to the environment as well as our budget and over the past five years have modernized snow fighting equipment to reduce the quantity of salt placed on our roadways and in the environment. The majority of our trucks are now computer controlled and GPS enabled. These trucks utilize a windows- based computer system to regulate the amount of salt leaving the truck and premixing it with liquid to prevent it from bouncing from the road surface onto the grassy areas abutting the roads. In the past ten years we have reduced the application of salt from approximately 500 pounds per lane mile to less than 200 pounds per lane mile through the use of this equipment. These trucks are capable of transmitting to a central location a view out their windshield in real time the exact truck location by GPS locating, the speed of the truck, the route it has traveled and is traveling, the air temperature, road temperature, dew point, the rate of material being put down and the rate of liquid being put down during a storm event. These are state of the art systems which the road district obtained though the use of a state grant and the help of Representative Mark H. Beaubien (52nd District). We are justly proud of the modernization of the fleet and the benefits to the environment. With salt now costing $65 dollars a ton for the winter of 2010-2011 when ten years ago salt was less than $20 dollars per ton the need to reduce the quantity of salt used is not only environmentally friendly but friendly to the taxpayer. The Road District receives funding from four primary sources. Grants and other assistance from the State of Illinois through Motor Fuel Tax money and application for specialized programs through the grant process, revenue from the villages pursuant to our Intergovernmental Partnerships, warranty work done for other municipalities and ourselves through our Fleet Services and tax revenue from two funds, the Road and Bridge Fund and the Road Maintenance Fund also referred to in slang as the "Gravel Tax".
In 2010 recognizing the economic conditions existing in our country the Road District voluntarily reduced its tax levy by 5% in the Road and Bridge fund. The Road Maintenance fund remains the same as it is the major source of revenue to the Road District. There was no increase in the tax rate in the 2010 tax year and the only increases contemplated are due to decreasing assessments to maintain the current level of revenue. The Road and Bridge Fund is a "tax levy" fund whereas the Road Maintenance fund is a permanent road tax which is based strictly on assessed value. As assessed value increases the actual tax rate should decrease to maintain a constant amount of revenue and correspondingly when assessed values decrease the tax rate would increase to maintain a consistent amount of revenue. Your tax dollars are very well spent here and everyone is welcome to visit and see it at work.
In further attempts to save money we have stopped the purchasing of brand new trucks due to their increasing cost and have begun buying low mileage used trucks, company demonstrators or rehabbing trucks we already own due to the talents of the districts staff . The district has been able to completely rehabilitate trucks to bring them to like new condition at a cost far less than what an outside contractor can do it for and extend the life of these trucks for many years.