Pandemic didn't stop progress in 2020

Due to the pandemic, Hinsdale’s revenues declined by $1.9 million in 2020. Sales tax, food and beverage tax and parking permit revenues all declined dramatically.

Fortunately, years of prudent financial management paid off in 2020. Despite the $1.9 million revenue decline, we maintained the same level of police, fire and public works services residents have come to expect. Moreover, we will end 2020 with a reserve balance of $8.2 million, which represents 43 percent of the village’s annual operating expenses. In other words, we have weathered the pandemic successfully so far, and we are poised to come out of the pandemic financially strong.

I am happy to report that we opened the parking deck off of Garfield Street in July 2020, which solves the decades-old parking problem in

our downtown.

I was also pleased to see that outdoor dining has helped our local restaurants through this difficult year. Outdoor dining has worked so well that the village board will be considering whether to continue outdoor dining post pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, the vacancy rate of commercial businesses in Hinsdale remains low — at just 4 percent. The village is fortunate to have such a thriving business community, and the village board is committed to doing all that it can to ensure that our local businesses prosper.

The village board remains committed to making further major road, sewer and drainage improvements in coming years, while maintaining the village’s AAA bond rating.

Despite the pandemic, the village continued to improve its roads and sewer system and to solve drainage problems. As a result of our road-improvement efforts, over 94 percent of Hinsdale’s roads are now rated in “good” or “excellent” condition. The village also constructed 2,100 feet of water main improvements on Chicago Avenue to replace a 100-year-old major water main. In addition to village-funded work, the Illinois Tollway and the village performed $2.1 million of work to eliminate a long-standing flooding problem near Highland Park and Chicago Avenue.

The new Land Rover/Jaguar dealership on Ogden Avenue officially opened for business this year. The dealership had considered moving to another community, which would have significantly reduced Hinsdale’s sales tax revenues — revenues needed to maintain the level of service residents have come to expect. The village board is proactively encouraging sale-tax-generating businesses to locate in our commercial districts, so long as those businesses fit with the surrounding neighborhood.

The village board remains committed to minimizing the impact the widening of Interstate 294 has on the village and continues to work with the Tollway to address resident concerns as part of this project.

I want to thank the board members and the village staff for all their hard work in 2020.

Happy Holidays!

— by Tom Cauley, village president