Trustees Vote 4-2 to Pass 2012 Budget
The $23.3 million spending plan—which includes $8.8 million in general fund expenses—takes effect May 1.
The village of Montgomery has a budget for fiscal year 2012.
With a vote of 4-2, village trustees approved the proposed $23.3 million spending plan Monday night. They also voted 4-2 to approve a salary plan for village employees, one that includes a one-percent pay increase and the possibility of three-percent merit increases for those not covered by either the police or public works union.
The 2012 budget includes $8.8 million for general fund costs, including the day-to-day operations of the village. It’s a balanced budget, according to Finance Manager Jeff Zoephel, thanks in part to the increase in population reported in the 2010 census.
With more than 1,300 new residents coming to Montgomery in the past two years, Zoephel expects to take in $158,000 more in state-shared taxes over the coming 12 months.
In addition to the normal village services, the budget includes $11,000 to revamp the village website, $50,000 to buy a new SUV for the police department, and roughly $25,000 to replace computers throughout the village government.
The budget also includes $9 million for enterprise funds, $1.2 million for special revenue funds, and $1.5 million for debt service. Zoephel intends to end the year with at least 25 percent of the budget remaining as fund balance.
Trustees Pete Heinz and Andy Kaczmarek voted against both the budget and the salary plan. Heinz did not comment on his vote, but Kaczmarek said he disagrees with one of the proposals in the budget: paying for half of a village arborist’s salary with special service area funds.
Zoephel explained that the new arborist would fill an already open position, and part of the duties involved would be to oversee contractors working on basins in several subdivisions.
Those subdivisions are taxed through special service areas, and Zoephel said that the arborist would spend about 50 percent of his time working in those parts of town.
The position pays $72,000, including benefits, and Zoephel said no SSA would be charged more than $4,000 a year.
This would be the first time Montgomery has charged an SSA for an employee’s salary, Zoephel said. And while the practice is unusual—Aurora, for example, has never used SSA funds to pay for an employee, according to Finance Director Brian Caputo—Zoephel said it is allowable.
Village Attorney Steve Andersson agreed. He said the important question, when dealing with SSA funds, is whether the work being paid for will benefit the service area. It would only be wrong to do so, he said, if SSA funds were being used for work outside the area being taxed.
And, he said, using those funds to pay for a full-time employee may actually get the village a better deal on the work than if they were to hire a contractor.
“We won’t be charged as much if we’re using our own guy,” Andersson said.
But Kaczmarek still believes that charging SSA-paying residents for employee salaries and benefits is wrong, and stands by his vote.
The new budget takes effect on May 1, and runs through April 30, 2012.