• Megann Horstead

Pilot program will secure lease agreements for Romeoville Police vehicles


The Romeoville Village Board of Trustees agreed last week on waiving the bid requirement and executing a master equity lease agreement with Enterprise FM Trust concerning quotes for 10 police vehicles.

Action taken by the board will give the Romeoville Police Department added flexibility to get newer, more efficient and technically advanced vehicles equipped with equipment.

None of the other Village departments have opted in favor of using a program of this type.

The new fleet will replace seven marked police squad vehicles and three unmarked police vehicles. In return, Romeoville Police will acquire seven 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles and three 2018 Ford Sedan Police Vehicles from Enterprise Fleet Management.

Romeoville Police currently have 35 squad cars and 10 unmarked police vehicles. Commonly, staff is using vehicles that are 10 years old and have traveled more than 100,000 miles.

“Leasing may be slightly more expensive than purchasing on a year-to-year basis, but the advantages far outweigh that,” Finance Director Kirk Openchowski said.

The total cost for the year amounts to $228,600, including lease and equipment payments, and is budgeted for in the Village of Romeoville’s budget. Originally, the board had budgeted $300,000 to satisfy this aim.

Under the pilot program, Romeoville Police can swap out their vehicles every five years.

Mayor John Noak said if you really look at it and had to buy a vehicle, it’ll cost more in the end considering the maintenance and repair costs.

Romeoville is not the first municipality to introduce a program of this type. Similar lease agreements have been secured in Chicago and Rockford.

Trustee Jose “Joe” Chavez acknowledged that the Village has done its math and contended that some people believe a car is just being broken in at 100,000 miles.

Day-to-day maintenance of the new fleet will remain the Village’s responsibility.

In a unanimous decision, officials agreed on a 60-month lease agreement with a total cost of $576,636.40.

It is the Village’s desire to begin by leasing some Romeoville Police vehicles, with the potential option to create a more robust program that includes the Fire and Public Works departments

Contract for Route 53 final design and engineering services approved

Also at the meeting, plans to improve the Route 53 corridor from Airport to Renwick roads continue to move forward.

The project is made possible thanks, in part, to collaboration between the Village of Romeoville and Lewis University.

“It’s been a long process,” Assistant Village Administrator Dawn Caldwell said. “There’s been some great headway we’ve made.”

Improvements include entry monuments, screen walls, fencing, signage, a pedestrian walkway, landscape, planted medians, lighting and banners. The contract, as presented, amounts to approximately $2 million, excluding costs for burial of the overhead utilities.

The Village is primarily responsible for underground utility costs, with the university contributing the funds needed for lighting and additional improvements.

Lewis University intends to reimburse the Village for 75 percent of the costs they take on as stipulated in the final design and engineering services contract.

Board action allows the project to move on to the design and development phase.

Construction is expected to start in September and continue through May 2019.

Romeoville declares support for Cities Open Internet Pledge

The board authorized the signing of the Cities Open Internet Pledge, an initiative that aims to protect citizens’ rights to have access to a free and open Internet.

“I don’t think most communities [would] bring this to the board, but I thought it was good because many residents had emailed me about this one,” Noak said.

The pledge is being signed by municipalities across the nation following changes at the national level to repeal Net Neutrality rules, which are designed to keep the Internet free and open.

“I thought it would be worth bringing up and showing our support,” Noak said.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion May 16 at a regular meeting of the Romeoville Village Board of Trustees:

  • Officials waived the bidding requirement and went on to utilize the National Joint Powers Alliance for the purchase of one Caterpillar CB7 vibratory compaction roller at a price valued at $103,710.

  • The board waived the bidding requirement and went on to utilize the Suburban Purchasing Cooperative for the purchase of one 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe sport utility vehicle at a price valued at $37,582.89.

  • Officials waived the bidding requirement and went on to purchase some computer equipment from CDW-G for fire department vehicles. The cost to the Village of Romeoville is $62,251.62.

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