trustees got their first look at plans for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget on Wednesday, including which projects and requests didn’t make the cut.
The new fiscal year begins on May 1, and trustees are scheduled to vote on the final document on April 9. The proposed budget would see the village essentially break even at the end of the fiscal year, according to Finance Director Jeff Zoephel—the $20.3 million in expenses draws from a projected $20.6 million in revenues.
The proposal would see roughly $9 million spent on general fund expenses, spending all but $50 of the year's projected general fund revenue.
Going with that plan, he said, would leave a general fund balance at the end of the fiscal year of 33 percent—which is above the required 25 percent. And Zoephel said that money can be drawn on for some of the projects that didn’t make the budget plan, if the board chooses.
But first, he focused on what is in the proposed budget. 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, 12 new computers, several smaller construction projects, and a projected 20 percent increase in insurance costs.
The new positions, which would be added six months into the fiscal year, are a new police officer and a building maintenance technician. Director Mike Pubentz explained that this new employee 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.
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.
The police department would get $5,000 to test police officer candidates, and the public works department would see $30,000 to contract out village mowing services, which Pubentz said would free up his employees to do other work.
The budget would also include $25,000 to put together a new 10-year strategic plan, to replace the one set to expire this year. It would also include $20,000 to conduct a feasibility study for a new TIF district along the Orchard Road corridor.
And it would include $30,000 in a line item marked “planning services,” which would allow staff to hire outside planners in case they are needed. The Board not to fill the community development director position, and to eliminate the senior planner position.
And that, Zoephel said, would be it, unless the board wants to revisit some things not in the budget—cut, he said, because had staff included everything requested, the village would have seen a roughly $635,000 loss, instead of a balanced ledger.
For instance, he said, the budget plan would not include any new vehicles, despite the fact that eight were requested: six police squad cars, a new utility truck and a single-axle dump truck. Each squad car is $50,000, the dump truck $82,000, and the utility truck $40,000.
However, should the board want to include three of those squad cars and the dump truck, it would only bring the general fund surplus down to 31 percent, still above the required 25 percent.
Other requests not in the budget plan include $100,000 to formulate a new comprehensive plan, $10,000 for street sweeping, $10,000 for pest management, and $5,000 to print the annual financial report (which will now simply be posted on the village website).
Pubentz said street sweeping would still happen, but only a couple times a year. And the pest management money would have gone to mitigating the ash borer infestation, which would go unchecked without it.
The budgeted revenues include a three percent increase in the water rate, which trustees will consider on Monday. Trustees will continue the budget discussion at Monday’s meeting as well. The board will meet at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, and the meeting is free and open to the public.