In a split vote at its Oct. 24 meeting, the Yorkville City Council voted to end its program to incentivize buyers and builders of new homes on empty lots in local subdivisions.
Aldermen voted 5-3 to end the Buyers of Undeveloped Infill Lot Discount, or BUILD, program at the meeting. Aldermen Chris Funkhouser, Jackie Milschewski and Ken Koch voted to extend the program, while Carlo Colosimo, Joel Frieders, Seaver Tarulis, Arden Joe Plocher and Alex Hernandez voted to end it.
Among other incentives, the program gave $5,000 to buyers of new single-family homes and buyers also received $5,000 from the developer.
One of the program’s chief critics, Colosimo has argued that the program has been a giveaway to homebuilders and homebuyers at the expense of existing residents.
Colosimo has said that he would rather the funding come from the general fund than from the city’s water fund, which in the last budget showed a deficit of $860,736. The city paid $162,468 from the water fund to the BUILD program in fiscal 2016, according to the most recent city budget.
Colosimo said the city will “have to raise the water fee” because of the program.
“And we’ll all sit here ‘shocked’ that we have to raise the water fee,” he said. “I have suggested many times that if this program was so great, you’d fund it from the general fund ... and nobody took me up on that.”
Colosimo noted that if approved, it would have been the seventh extension of the program since it was launched in 2012.
“This was supposed to be a temporary program to stimulate home construction in the city of Yorkville,” he said.
Mayor Gary Golinski, one of the program’s chief proponents, said the program “served its purpose.”
“It’s been a good program, it was never designed to last forever,” Golinski said. “Hopefully the building permits don’t take a huge hit but we’ll see.”