Mike Watson

Bradley Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson

BRADLEY — A $19.4 million general fund budget with a $4 million revenue-over-expense surplus will be adopted by the Bradley village board at a special board meeting Thursday.

The budget will include the promised $1.1 million property tax rebate to village property owners for the voter-approved 1-percentage-point increase to the village’s sales tax.

The increased sales tax rate is expected to generate $4.6 million in the 2022 fiscal year — which runs from June 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022 — and a significant portion of the new revenue is being earmarked for a number of projects.

Among the projects are:

• $100,000 for three Feeding Mission programs. Tentative times are at the beginning of the school year, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

• $65,000 for at least 10 new village gateway signage.

• $1.3 million for park improvements, including expansion of Illinois 50 bike path; two new dog parks; and fishing pier, pavilion and additional parking at Northfield Park.

• $750,000 for flood and drainage improvements in Blatt subdivision.

• $400,000 for alley improvements.

• $2.8 million for street and sidewalk improvement.

• $60,000 — West Broadway beautification by adding summer-themed LED lighting and banners and new Christmas lighting.

Bradley Mayor-elect Mike Watson said the projects will be paid for without the village having to borrow money.

“This is something we’ve been planning, but we had to get our finances in order first,” he said.

Watson was asked if he was ever surprised at how well the increased sales tax rate has performed given the pandemic.

He said at first he was concerned, but once he saw how well the village was doing after the initial first weeks of the pandemic, in terms of sales taxes being generated — at a monthly rate of $350,000 to $400,000 — he felt the village was well suited to make it through the pandemic.

“No matter what, the village residents were going to see the rebate with their property taxes. We were always committed to that,” he said.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.