Welcome to 3rdWard.org, a website dedicated to communication and transparency between Des Plaines City Government and you. This website, maintained by 3rd Ward Alderman Denise Rodd, is designed to keep neighbors engaged in their community and informed about issues.

Entries in generator (3)

Friday
Sep092011

Press Release: Generator Program

Members of the Des Plaines City Council approved a Home Generator Rebate Program at the Tuesday, September 6, 2011 City Council Meeting.  The Program, developed to help subsidize the purchase of generators used by residents during power outages, will go into effect 8:30 AM, Monday, September 19, 2011, when applications/agreements will be available and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis in the City Council Chambers,  Room 102, Des Plaines City Hall, 1420 Miner Street.

Residents eligible to apply for the rebate include those who are considering purchasing a generator and those who have bought a generator as of June 22, 2011, when the first severe storm resulted in power outages throughout the City.  According to the City of Des Plaines Home Generator Agreement, the City agrees to reimburse the resident by check, which will be made payable within 4-6 weeks, up to 50% of the cost of the portable generator not to exceed $250.   $400, and a permit fee refund, would be rebated for a permanently installed generator for qualifying residents.  Once an application/agreement is approved, residents have 30 days to make the purchase of a new generator or to apply for a permit for a permanently installed generator. 

The program, which became official with the passage of Resolution R-112-11, applies to owners of single family homes and townhomes.  Only one reimbursement per household will be allowed.  Residents sign a formal agreement stating that if they should move from their property prior to a two year period, they will be required to repay the entire reimbursement from the City.  They also consent to a random compliance check to assure that the generator is located at the property address.

According to City Manager (acting) Jason Slowinski, the City has allocated a total of $22,500 to fund the program, $7,500 for residents applying retroactively and $15,000 for “non-retroactive” applications/agreements.  “Residents applying to the program retroactively have until 5 PM, Friday, December 2, 2011, to apply.  The City’s Finance Department will administer the Home Generator Rebate Program.  Should funding be depleted, the City Council will reevaluate the program and consider allocating additional financing,” Slowinski said.

Once funding has been depleted, the City will continue to receive applications for the program.  Should additional funding be extended by the City Council, previously submitted applications will be accepted for funding in the order in which they were submitted.

Des Plaines Director of Finance Dorothy Wisniewski reminds residents that when they complete the application/agreement they must present the original receipt of purchase for a retroactive reimbursement from June 22, 2011 or later.  In addition, residents will need to show proof of address and owner verification such as a photo ID.

Application/agreements will first be available on Monday, September 19, 2011 on a first come, first served basis.

Monday
Aug152011

Generators, No Fees, & Autograph!

City Council Meeting of August 15, 2011

Celebrity Autograph: "To Matt, Best Wishes -Wayne Serbin"Tonight's agenda started with a proposed place of worship at 1416 River Road.  The single family residence is not fit to handle the expected volume of worshipers.  The council concurred with the 6-0 decision by the zoning board to reject the petition. 

The council sent the home generator rebate program back to staff to iron out a wrinkle.  It will be back next meeting and likely has the votes to pass.  $250 (regular portable) or $400 (large/gas powered) generators will likely be included.  More to come.

After 1,570 reports of flood damage following the July 23rd flooding events, the council decided to waive all permit fees for flood damage repairs resulting from this storm.  Make sure to get a permit, but no fees will be assessed. 

Have you read the Spring/Summer 2011 Ward R3PORT?  A ton of excellent volunteers have delivered paper copies to most doors in the ward and you can download your copy in PDF form.  One of the feature stories is on DP legend Wayne Serbin, a resident who has been to more council meetings than anyone in city hall.  I'm honored to have his autograph!

Thursday
Aug122010

Generator Rebate? "DP Groupon"

Tonight's Engineering Committee meeting proved to be interesting.  Aldermen Robinson, Argus, and I (the committee chair) called the meeting to discuss a proposal put forth by Alderman Robinson and Mayor Moylan; under this proposal, $250 rebates would be given from the City to residents who purchased generators for their homes.  The project's budget would be $15,000 (so up to 60 generators) and would require the resident to provide proof of purchase, proof of residence for two years after purchase, and all rebated households would be subject to random inspections to ensure the generators were not returned or given away.  Here are the detailed documents from the meeting:  Draft Proposal  Draft Agreement  Representatives from BestBuy were on hand to answer questions and offer their services as a potential supplier of generators. 

Half way through the committee meeting the challenges of implementation and concern for our general fund reserve began weighing the proposal down.  Alderman Walsten raised a number of strong points and both Alderman Robinson and Argus called into question a number of the operational shortcomings of the proposed plan.  It was then that I was reminded of a concept pioneered by the website Groupon.com.  This site offers discounts for items as long as enough people purchase the item being offered.  As an example, Groupon.com would offer 1/2 off a haircut if 250 buy the haircut "groupon" (like a coupon for a group).  If 250 people don't agree to buy the haircut at the discounted price then no one gets the discount.  In much the same way, we can leverage the collective buying power of residents without burdening the City's general fund.  The representative for Best Buy offered to take this concept and come back to the Engineering Committee with a plan that will offer a large discount on generators to Des Plaines residents as long as a certain volume (# still TBD) are purchased by the individuals (not the City).  Additionally, the City might then wave any permit fees associated with the instalation and inspection of the larger built-in generators.  This new proposal has the potential to reach more residents (> 60 in the current proposal) at a larger discount with little to no cost to the city. 

This revised proposal passed unanimously out of committee.  I am excited to see what representatives at BestBuy come back to us with.  After we have a plan, a bidding process would be necessary to ensure we are working with the vendor who is offering the best deal to residents.  Know that this plan is far from finalized; I will report back when we learn more.