Village ends 2023 in a strong position

Annual report highlights finances, roads, historic preservation and crime prevention

The village will have a reserve balance of $6.7 million at the end of 2023. That balance will exceed 25 percent of the village's annual operating expenses, which is the percentage of reserve balance rating agencies require for municipalities to obtain a AAA bond rating. Hinsdale has maintained a AAA bond rating for many years. Only about 15 percent of Illinois municipalities carry a AAA bond rating.

Hinsdale takes crime prevention and the apprehension of individuals who commit crimes in our community very seriously. Serious crimes that occur in Hinsdale are typically part of a larger regional pattern. This year, Hinsdale hosted regional saturation patrols aimed at stopping pattern crimes in DuPage County. Hinsdale police have participated in numerous felony arrests involving burglaries, stolen autos and weapon-related offenses. Chicago's chief of detectives complimented the Hinsdale Police Department for its assistance in apprehending the shooters of a 12-year-old boy after an incident in Chicago late last year. The village board will continue to ensure that the police department has the best training and equipment necessary to continue with its successes.

Hinsdale businesses are thriving. The retail vacancy rate in the central business district is at 2.4 percent, which is lower than in many neighboring communities. Hinsdale remains a sought-after location. Next fall, an additional luxury auto dealership, McLaren, will open on Ogden Avenue, further bolstering the village's sales tax base.

Historic preservation is a goal of the village board. The village has had remarkable success with its recently adopted program to preserve historic homes. Less than one year after implementing that program, 80 homes are participating in the program and 10 homes are taking advantage of the village's incentives designed to save homes from demolition. Also, consistent with its goal of reusing Hinsdale's existing buildings, the village board recently approved the Vine Street Station project, which will bring 12 age-restricted condominiums to the old Zion Lutheran School building.

The village board continues to make infrastructure improvements a priority. In 2023, the village completed the rehabilitation of the Hinsdale Water Tower and improved more than a mile of roadway, including resurfacing part of South Lincoln Street. In 2024, the village anticipates spending $4.5 million on infrastructure work on Sixth Street. By the end of 2024, which will be the final year of the village's 15-year master infrastructure plan, the village will no longer have any failed asphalt or concrete roads and will have replaced or improved 63 of the 69 miles of the village's roadway, 16 miles of watermain and 18 miles of sewers as part of the master infrastructure plan.

This year marked the village's 150th anniversary. A highlight of the village's celebration was a resident-led rehabilitation of the Memorial Building carillon and bell.

The carillon and bell provided a festive backdrop for the annual tree lighting and Christmas Walk. The village board thanks those who have assisted with the various 150th celebratory events.

I thank the village board members, members of the various commissions and staff for all their hard work in 2023.

Happy Holidays!

- by Tom Cauley, village president