Gas tax increase will help fix Plainfield roads

By Madhu Mayer | 3/6/2018, 10:07 a.m.
It is going to cost a bit more to fuel up gasoline in the Village of Plainfield.
The closed Citgo/GasMart station at 143rd Street and Bell Road in Homer Glen is to be sold via closed bid.

It is going to cost a bit more to fuel up gasoline in the Village of Plainfield.

In an effort to raise money for road improvement projects, the Plainfield Village Board Monday by a 4-3 vote approved increasing the local motor fuel tax from the current 4 cents per gallon to six cents per gallon. Mayor Michael Collins broke the tie by voting for the tax hike. Trustees voting for the measure were Cally Larson, Larry Newton and Bill Lamb. Opposed to the tax increase were trustees Margie Bonuchi, Ed O'Rourke and Brian Wojowski.

Traci Pleckham, director of management services for the Village of Plainfield, said the tax hike will help the municipality meet its current $4 million commitment for road maintenance and resurfacing projects.

The 2-cent tax hike is expected to generate $500,000 per year to be funded toward the resurfacing program in the Village of Plainfield, The motor fuel tax hike becomes effective May 1.

O'Rourke bases part of his dissension on the village not opting to use surpluses in other roadway improvement funds for future projects. Joining him in casting the "no" vote was Wojowski.

"Does this have to pass now or will the roads fall apart?" Wojowski asked. "This gas tax rate hike and (the recently approved ) water rate tax is to much to bear.

But Lamb sees no other viable option except the motor fuel tax hike as he perceives many village streets being in need of repairs. Considering most subdivisions in Plainfield were built around 2008, he said, "A large part of our town is going to need attention."