Bellevue board spilt on possible facilities referendum
BELLEVUE – The village’s Facilities Master Plan is complete and a report highlighting the needs of the village was presented to the board in May by Barrientos Design and Consulting – so what’s the plan for the village going forward?
That remains unclear, as board members have varying opinions on what the next step should be.
An item was placed on the agenda for the July 24 meeting to discuss the possibility of holding a referendum for the implementation of the recommendations of the master plan on the April 7, 2020 ballot.
Village administrator Diane Wessel said the item was put on the agenda after previous discussion from board members about a possible referendum and if that was the path they wanted to go for the April 2020 election, steps needed to be taken now in order to make that happen.
“The window of opportunity is now if you wanted to go this route and we wanted to make sure you were aware of that and we didn’t find out months down the road that the board wanted to do this and then have to scramble to get things together,” Wessel said.
While board members were in agreement that the April 2020 ballot was too soon, some thought the November 2020 election would be an ideal time.
“There are things in our Capital Improvement Plan that have been there for quite while and they aren’t really getting done,” said board member Adam Gauthier. “You can say we need more time to decide, but I think we’d have plenty of time to decide what exactly is going to be on that November 2020 referendum question. There is going to be a large (voter) turnout in that next presidential election. We can always decide not to put it on the ballot, we have until next August to decide. But we need to get started.”
Others didn’t think the board was at a point where a facilities referendum should even be discussed.
“This item caught me off guard, I didn’t expect to discuss this tonight,” Village Board President Steve Soukup said. “At this point, until we get our ducks in a row and figure out what we really want to look at first, prioritize, I don’t see a reason to do anything.”
Some board members pointed out that the study done by Barrientos gave a detailed look at what facilities needed attention.
“Barrientos told us that the building that houses Fire Station No. 2 is at the end of its life,” Gauthier said. “We have concerns with water leaking over the electrical, flooding in the basement, the heating in there, the bathrooms, the doors sticking, the ADA compliance – we are elected to make these decisions.”
After no motion was approved, the item failed with no action.
It is unclear at this point what the next steps will be.