In a second budget meeting on July 17, following the original June 17 meeting, a few changes were made to the FY2021 budget, resulting in an overall deficit of $6,861,140 instead of the original projected deficit of $7,442,002.
The biggest change was in anticipated purchased water expenditures, a figure that was reduced by $554,862 based on updated FY2020 numbers. Other changes were an expenditure reduction in the police department figure of $1,500 and in the health and safety department of $44,500, attributed to entry errors in the original budget.
However, despite overall budgeted expenses being lower, two additional expenses were added: $30,000 for the village’s flood relief program suggested by Commissioner Ryan Nero at the previous budget meeting and $40,000 to renovate the playground at the Community Center, a plan pushed by Mayor Rory Hoskins.
Hoskins said the playground is 20 years old and given the possibility that schools may not open in the fall, the Community Center will probably run programs to provide care for children if parents are working. He added that private fundraising may be an option to raise some of the money needed for renovation and cited the fact that a child has been injured on the playground as an additional reason for the upgrade being necessary.
Village Administrator Tim Gillian will soon be meeting with the village’s labor unions, three of which agreed in May to freeze raises because of COVID-related financial difficulties faced by the village. Either the raises go into effect on August 1 or the village will negotiate another freeze, an attractive possibility given the dire financial projections the village faces.
Because of these upcoming labor talks, Gillian said that “all other expenses should be reasonable so the labor unions don’t see us spending money we don’t need to spend.”
The revised budget also included an additional $75,000 in revenue from the motor fuel tax. All commissioners except Dan Novak were present.
Gillian said that just because something is in the budget, it doesn’t mean it’s going to get spent. He said the village will prioritize expenditures and will look for grants and public fundraising before anything comes out of the budget.