The first draft of the village’s new budget was unveiled at a hearing last week at village hall, and based on its projections, there will be another slight surplus.
Village Administrator Tim Gillian said there will be minor changes to the preliminary $21.8-million budget that was presented at last week’s meeting but noted that “everyone has agreed” to the alterations. Gillian also said the budget will not be finalized until the council votes on it as an ordinance during the second quarter of the fiscal year, as required by state law.
“Because the budget is not required, nor [is it currently] an official village document, it becomes kind of a guide, internally, to monitor our income and expenses,” Gillian said. “The official action takes place in June or July.”
The budget’s crafters (the mayor, commissioners, department heads and staff all have a hand in this) estimate that the village will end Fiscal Year 2012 with a surplus of $190,500 – half the amount it reportedly ended with at the close of FY ’11, which ended on April 30. However, neither the proposed budget, nor the surplus for FY ’12 factor in revenue and expenses from grants and other special funds, such as TIF accounts.
A finalized report for FY ’11 has not been released, but officials have said the year ended with the year roughly $400,000 in the black. Although the state is behind in payments to the village by several months, Village Director Judy Kovacs said that the money has been recorded as received for FY ’11. Kovacs added that she didn’t know how much, cumulatively, the state still owes the village, but it is behind by $459,000 in income tax payments. Previously, Kovacs said she expects all of the money to be in by June 30, about the time the year’s finances will be audited.
Gillian said the FY ’11 projected surplus was a “floating target,” but added, “I have no doubt the village will end [FY ’11] with a surplus.”
In an effort to address a planned increase in spending for FY ’12, village officials recommended that the board consider passing an ordinance that will increase all vehicle stickers by $5.
The combined increase in fees could generate an additional $30,000 in revenue, according to a report that Gillian presented at last week’s meeting.
The report also suggested increases in fees for parking and water meters.
Some of those proposals include adding a $2 or $5 monthly water fee; doubling some parking meter rates to 50 cents hourly; and raising parking fees in the Circle Avenue lot to $4 for 12 hours and in the Van Buren lot to $4 daily.
“These are just suggestions, [the village board] can do whatever they want,” Gillian said.
Several other small increases in various permits, licenses and stickers were also suggested. The village report, for instance, noted that the price of business licenses has not been raised in 10 years.
“I am, in no way, supporting that as [an] idea for new revenue,” Chris Harris, commissioner of public property, emailed the Forest Park Review. “Asking residents to reach deeper in their pockets in a recession is not an option in my book.”
Officials are currently working with board members to make small alterations to a variety of line items and yet another budget will be proposed at a later date, Gillian said.