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Final Vote on 2013 Budget Set for Next Week

On Tuesday, trustees debated the $20.6 million spending plan, and they're expected to vote on it next Monday.

Next week, Montgomery trustees are expected to vote on the Fiscal Year 2013 budget, a spending plan that estimates that the village will take in about $3 million less than in FY 2012.

Trustees got their first full look at the 136-page budget document last week, and at Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Acting Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel took them on a tour of it. The budget estimates that Montgomery will take in $20.8 million in revenue over the next 12 months, a drop of 12.7 percent from FY 2012.

Expenses are expected to drop 11.6 percent in FY 2013 as well, down to $20.6 million. The main reason, Zoephel said, is down to multiple water-related projects from last year, including constructing a new well on the west side, connecting that well to the existing Well 14 treatment plant, and improving the main plant on Knell Road.

Those projects are either finished, or nearly completed, Zoephel said.

Zoephel is predicting a three percent increase in general fund revenue over FY 2012, which would pay for all the day-to-day operations of the village, as well as two new positions (a police officer and a building maintenance technician), 12 new computers, several smaller construction projects, and a projected 20 percent increase in insurance costs.

The new technician would oversee maintenance at the village’s three main buildings (Village Hall, the police station and the public works facility), notifying contractors if repairs are needed, according to Director Mike Pubentz. Several weeks ago, trustees voted 4-2 to pay for this new position, with Trustees Stan Bond and Pete Heinz against it.

Additionally, there would be two promotions—one police officer to sergeant, and one dispatcher to lead dispatcher—and increased hours for a water billing clerk and a records clerk.

The general fund budget would pay for a $10,000 sealcoating job for Village Hall’s parking lot, $3,000 in traffic mitigation to help the village react to complaints, $25,000 to replace the servers in Village Hall, and $24,000 to buy 12 new computers, including one for public use in the hall’s lobby.

The budget would also include $15,400 to upgrade fleet maintenance software, $500 to buy a wireless microphone for the board room, and $10,650 to run the village’s annual programs, like the River Run, the summer concert series and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

It initially included $25,000 for a new 10-year strategic plan, but trustees voted 4-2 to put that expense off for a year, with Trustees Matt Brolley and Denny Lee casting the votes in favor. The village will spend $20,000 on a tax increment financing district study for Orchard Road.

The village will also dip into its general fund balance to purchase three new squad cars for the police department, and a dump truck for the public works department. Zoephel said the village keeps at least 25 percent of the general fund balance in reserve, but purchasing these vehicles will not dip the balance below that.

On Tuesday, trustees made a final decision to allow the public works department to outsource mowing of village properties, for about $30,000. Contracting this work out, Pubentz said, would free his staff up to tackle other projects, many of them related to underground repairs to the water system.

Trustees Bond, Heinz and Andy Kaczmarek voted against the proposal, with the other three board members and Village President Marilyn Michelini supporting it. Heinz said mowing “should be left to our guys,” but Trustee Bill Keck said the idea is worth trying, and can be revisited if it doesn’t work out.

“You can sit here and conjecture until the cows come home as to how it will all turn out,” he said. “Let’s try it for a year this way, and if it doesn’t work, it should be revisited.”

The board is expected to cast a final vote on the budget at their next meeting, on Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m.

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