University Park, IL

University Park Mayor Joseph Roudez Village's Financial Picture suggest Promises Made, Mean Promises Kept

South Suburban News
University Park Mayor, Joseph RoudezPhoto byJT Taylor

When Mayor Joseph Roudez took office in University Park in 2019, the financial picture for the village was dismal at best. The village’s credit rating was poor. It was so poor in fact, that the village was locked out of the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal. In a sentence, the finances were so bad that the village could not apply for grant funds from the state of Illinois. This was due in part to the back log of audits that had not been completed. Mayor Roudez inherited this situation. It did not end there. Motor Fuel Tax dollars needed to repair roads could not be trusted to the village. That money was critical to getting roads repaired.

“When I got here, that was the way it was and I did all I could to keep my word to get it all cleaned up, “Mayor Roudez said earlier this week.

“We worked hard to dig ourselves out of a deep whole.”

Roudez recalls there being 77 bank accounts when he took office. This amount of accounts was just a red flag towards unkept finances.

“Now there are 22 accounts. Now our credit rating is much better. We have completed audits from 2016-2019 and 2020 is 90% complete, “he said.

“We now can apply for grants under the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.”

The village has applied for $20 million in grant funds to improve the community. The ability of the village is much improved and Roudez is very proud of the big steps that have been taken and the amazing results in such a short time.

“I just had to keep my word with the residents when I took the position of mayor, “he declared.

The village has also resurfaced Elmhurst Lane which had not been resurfaced for decades. Abbott Lane has been redone as well. He is working now to get Black Hawk and Burnham resurfaced as well. That will greatly help at the entrance of the senior building in the village.

Historical Regald Farm, Pine Lake and Hickock Pool are projects that will see progress as the administration moves forward in Mayor Roudez’s keeping his word to voters.

“We now can apply for grants under the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.”

Mayor Roudez is focused on financial responsibility for the village and public safety. He shared that he is working to get more law enforcement, with a community oriented policing approach to law enforcement.

“I want people to feel safe, with officers on more bike patrols, meeting with residents and working hard to make people feel safe, “he said.

There were 233 vacant homes in the village when he took office and now there are only about 50. People are moving into the village.

Roudez feels that he can be sure of one thing. He kept his word to work hard to improve the conditions and it appears he has done it.

Another big ticket item that he wants to accomplish in his next term, will be to offer property tax rebates to the residents of the village.

New business development and the work to get the village back on its feet over his tenure as mayor is going a long way towards making that a possibility.

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