Despite objections, Burr Ridge passes prevailing wage
Updated: July 29, 2012 4:49PM
Burr Ridge trustees begrudgingly passed a resolution Monday approving the state’s latest prevailing wage rates for construction workers.
Illinois’ Prevailing Wage Act requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers, workers and mechanics employed on public works construction projects no less than the general prevailing rate of wages set by the state for each county. The Illinois Department of Labor requires every municipality, including park districts, to pass the resolution each June.
Trustee Al Paveza called the list of wages required by the state “almost outrageous.”
The latest rates put the base pay for a laborer at $35.20 in Cook County. When benefits such as insurance are added, the total is more than $56 an hour. A plumber working on a public job must be paid a minimum of $44.70 in Cook County and $41 base pay in DuPage County.
While he agrees that the rates are generous, Village Administrator Steve Stricker said he understands the resolution’s purpose.
“I understand both sides of it,” said Stricker, who said laborers could be asked to work for minimum wage if not for the prevailing wage act.
On the other hand, it makes projects such as the remodeling of the village’s board room costly.
“People ask why it costs so much. This is a big part of it,” Stricker said.
Jim Pacanowski of the Burr Ridge Park District said he suspects prevailing wages were at least partially to blame for a lack of satisfactory bids for the park district’s plan to expand the Community Center.
Pacanowski said bids for carpentry, roofing, masonry, fire alarms and heating and air conditioning all were too high or too few. The Park Board rejected the original bids and sought new ones.