Finance Committee Ready to Present Balanced Budget to Village Board
Village Treasurer John Sawyers and the Finance Committee met this week to discuss Evergreen Park’s 2011 budget.
Village Finance Committee members are boasting a balanced budget plan reminiscent of pre-recession numbers for fiscal year 2011 spanning from Nov. 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011.
“You’ll see that trend in all of the departments,” Village Treasurer John Sawyers said. “They’re streaming back and the numbers are comparable to the years, three years back.”
The committee estimated total fund revenues for 2011 to be $20,808,444 million and total fund expenses at $20,805,950, for a budgeted fund surplus of $2,494.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do that (without fee increases)," Sawyers said.
In the general fund, the committee is anticipating a total tax revenue of $12.6 million for 2011, compared with $12.3 million in 2010 and $12.5 million in 2008. Property taxes make up the bulk of the 2011 general fund tax revenues, hovering at $5.2 million. This fund includes revenues from all village departments, taxes, fees, licenses, permits, fines, forfeitures and miscellaneous items that make up improvements and day-to-day expenses.
“As expected, the Police Department is the largest department at 33 percent of the total budget,” Sawyers said.
The Evergreen Park Fire Department makes up 11.5 percent and the Street Department is at 12 percent. Sawyer’s report showed that the insurance and benefits fund takes up about 15 percent of the budget, while the remainder of the departments combined make up about 20 percent of the budget.
“The only thing that was significant was that 2010 was a big year for commercial permits,” said Sawyers, referring to larger building projects that happened in the village, including Pete’s Fresh Market and the Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers Campus Expansion Project.
Revenues from tax increment financing property taxes are estimated at $1.1 million.
“This is really just a planning document,” Sawyers said.
According to him, it is doubtful the board would encourage such expenses, but it puts the board in a position to do it if the opportunity arises.
The committee recommended a projected revenue for Sewer and Water at $4.9 million, compared with an actual 2010 fund of $4.9 million and $3.9 million for 2008. The fund surplus for the department will be at $41,579.
“This is the first year in many years that the city of Chicago has not increased the water rates,” Sawyers said. Consequently, the Finance Committee did not propose an increase on the village’s Sewer and Water department.
“We’re also thinking seriously about new water meters," Mayor James Sexton said. "Those are about 20 years old. They are not as current as they should be.”
He said the fund balance could possibly cover the expense, but the village is looking at state and federal grant funding, “so we don’t have to pass it on to the homeowners.” The only place Sexton said he sees an increase in the department would be in contractual obligations with garbage collection
“We were very conservative with our revenue fund predictions," Sexton said.
Another category that made the difference between last fiscal year and this fiscal year was the debt-fund transfer.
“We had some debt that expired in 2011 and we’ve seen a nice decline in that line item,” Sawyers said.
Trustees will vote on the proposed budget at the Jan. 18 board meeting, held at Village Hall.