Forest Park officials convened a final meeting last week to discuss the specifics of a $21.8-million preliminary budget for fiscal year 2012. It was the second hearing in three weeks, and few changes were made to the budget as presented at the first meeting.

Based on projected revenues and expenditures, the village expects a very small surplus of $146,000 (which doesn’t factor in money coming in from grants and being spent, which comes out to $190,000, according to village estimates). 

“Essentially, this is a balanced budget and no more,” said Village Administrator Tim Gillian.

During the meeting, newly elected Commissioner Chris Harris peppered Mayor Anthony Calderone and Gillian with requests for explanations about various line items, some of which involved minute sums of money. Gillian reminded Harris that “just because that’s money in the budget, doesn’t mean it’s going to get spent.”

“I like to think of it as a map,” Commissioner Mark Hosty told Harris, adding that the council was merely in an “exploratory phase” with regard to how to spend money from the FY ’12 budget.

Hosty also noted that, in the future, expenses will also be custom-tailored to reflect the revenue coming in.

The budget discussed at last week’s meeting indicates roughly 2-percent increases from last year in both the village’s expected expenses and revenues for this fiscal year, which began on May 1.

FY ’12’s anticipated surplus is slimmer than the $400,000 in-the-black figure that the village says it ended FY ’11 with. The latter amount is not an official figure until the village’s books are audited.

The preliminary FY ’12 budget still requires a council vote for official adoption, which will likely occur in the next month or so, Gillian said.