The financial tide is finally starting to turn for villages such as Forest Park. That’s the message from last week’s first session of budget discussions at village hall. There are some macro elements of this improvement as the grim economy improves and sales taxes rise, property inspection revenue grows as the real estate market gets unstuck, permit fees rise as more confident homeowners invest in their homes.
There are also micro successes for which village hall gets credit. Jumping on to state program that dings income tax refunds to clear up unpaid tickets was a mostly one-time boost. And, most notably, the half-cent sales tax hike recently approved by voters kicks in on July 1 and will fund infrastructure fixes.
We were especially pleased to hear Village Administrator Tim Gillian report staff is actively working on a broad plan to invest in the village’s old and inadequate sewer system. We understand that any such fix will be a long-term and phased-in project. But making a plan to start is the necessary first step.
This article has been updated to clarify that the village collects property inspection fees from property transfers.