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Naperville City Council recommending boost to beautification budget

To expedite beautification across the city, Naperville officials recommend topping up the 2022 budget for projects such as landscaping, signage, and banners.

While staff suggested $ 100,000 for the beautification, the majority of city council members voted for an amount of $ 250,000 for the coming year at the third and final budget workshop on Monday. Finance director Rachel Mayer said the additional amount could be allocated from elsewhere to help balance the proposed budget of $ 540 million.

The city council will vote on a final budget for 2022 at its December 7th session.

Public Works Director Dick Dublinski presented a list of projects that could be completed for $ 100,000, including the painting and remodeling of the Washington Street underpass for $ 25,000. Additional money would go to street lamp banners and improved signage on the city gates.

However, Mayor Steve Chirico expressed frustration with the pace of the beautification. He said the 2022 plan was not much different from previous plans, although the city council made beautification a priority.

“I don’t feel like we’ve made that much progress compared to a year ago,” said Chirico. “These are actually all the same things that we discussed a year ago.”

After Councilor Ian Holzhauer said he was in favor of increasing the amount allocated for the beautification, a show of hands indicated the support of several other councilors. As part of the spending, Councilor Jennifer Bruzan Taylor wanted to ensure that the southern part of the city received attention.

“I feel like we were going to look at peer communities, other churches in the best places in America to make a family list, Overland Park, Kansas or whatever,” said Holzhauer. “I would be surprised if you only spent a hundred thousand dollars beautifying the city.”

Chirico said a concerted effort would be needed to identify which areas of the city need the most attention.

“When you drive around town there are so many rooms that could look a lot better with a little care and a little money,” said Chirico. “I feel like we’re spinning our wheels at this point.”

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