Lakewood eliminates vehicle sticker program that netted $65,000 a year

Village used funds from stickers for road projects

LAKEWOOD – Lakewood residents will no longer have to buy vehicle stickers.

The Lakewood Village Board voted unanimously to kill the program, which generates about $65,000 a year for road projects, Village Manager Catherine Peterson said.

Village staff had recommended keeping the cost for vehicle stickers at the same level as last year, $25 annually with a discounted rate of $20 a year for seniors, according to village documents.

One of the concerns Peterson raised about eliminating the program was that the village could end up taking on another road project this year as the city of Crystal Lake had expressed a willingness to include the village's portion of Meridian Street in its upcoming bid package.

The inclusion likely would mean a lower price for Lakewood, but it would have to come up with a few hundred thousand dollars in an off-year for the village in terms of road work, Peterson said, noting that the Village Board also levied an increase on its property tax levy in December.

Village President Erin Smith also noted that some residents said they liked being able to identify if a car parked outside their home belonged to a Lakewood resident.

The conversation should be about cutting expenses, not finding new revenue, Trustee Paul Serwatka said, pointing to the McRide Dial-A-Ride service the village uses.

The program is set to cost the village just shy of $5,000 this year, which is less than the maximum of about $7,600 laid out in the agreement because a senior services grant helps pay for the program, village documents said.