State shortfall could increase Sugar Grove budget deficit

By on April 9, 2010

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The $50,000 deficit in the village’s 2010-11 budget could easily turn into a $250,000 deficit, if the state of Illinois follows through with its proposal for a reduction in the local government distributive fund (LGDF).

With that in mind, the Village Board on Tuesday approved a resolution opposing the reduction in the LGDF. The governor’s budget proposal, announced on March 10, included a $300 million cut to funding guaranteed to municipal governments under the LGDF, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in local tax revenue and a loss of $204,388 to the village.

A public hearing for the 2010-11 fiscal year budget was held on Tuesday. The budget does not take into consideration the reduction in state funding, becuase the state’s budget will not be passed until the end of June at the earliest, Village Finance Director Justin VanVooren said.

According to Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger, unless the village is willing to live with a deficit of that size, additional personnel cuts are likely to occur.

The current 2010-11 budget includes an increase of 2.2 percent in total revenue, with expenditures expected to increase by 1.6 percent.

The village expects an $87,000 increase in revenues over the current fiscal year, including increases in property taxes and state sales tax.

Decreases in personnel costs include the loss of a Public Works Department position through retirement, as well as the elimination of the cost-of-living and merit increases for non-represented village employees.

Although the budget will include a 3.25 percent cost-of-living increase and step increases contained in the police contract, a decrease in the amount of police overtime will equate to a savings of $24,800.

The village anticipates an increase of $35,000 in towing fees, due to a recent increase in the fee to $500 for certain offenses and an increase in utility taxes of $27,000 that includes a 7 percent increase in residents’ water and sewer fees.

In addition to the rate increase, Sugar Grove residents will pay an extra $1 a month for water and sewer if they don’t sign up for direct-debit payments. The direct-debit customers do not receive a return envelope on their bill, which saves money as well as taking less staff time to post.

Liquor licenses have increased, as have building-related fees and certain police fines, including more significant increases in fines for underage consumption and possession of alcohol by a minor and overnight parking.

The board decided to maintain the village’s $2,500 contribution to the Corn Boil fireworks fund but to eliminate the Kaneland Foundation and Hook A Kid on Golf donations.

The board will vote on the budget on Tuesday, April 20, for the fiscal year beginning May 1.