Village finalizes budget for vote

By on April 12, 2012

Straw poll indicates 2 board members will vote no
by Susan O’Neill
Elburn—The Elburn Village Board will vote on the 2012-13 fiscal year budget at its next board meeting on Monday, April 16. The general operating budget is $2.5 million, and the total village budget is $4.7 million.

“It’s a bare bones budget,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “It’s tight. The expenses are more than revenues in some areas, but overall, it’s balanced.”

According to Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven, the big ticket items for the coming year will be the rehabilitation of Well No. 3 on North First Street, cleaning and interior repairs on the two north water towers, power washing the exterior of the three water towers, and updating the waste-water treatment plant.

The village has submitted a request for a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help with the funding for the treatment plant. With additional money from waste-water connection fees, the village will replace the pumps and control system in the plant, change the configuration of the flow and add an excess flow tank, Nevenhoven said.

On the March 20 ballot, voters were asked to pass a line item levy to pay for the police pension fund. It did not pass, so the money will have to come out of the general operating fund. Now that the village has hit the 5,000 mark in population, it is required to put an upfront, lump-sum payment of $162,765 into the fund within the first year, and in addition come up with a 21 percent contribution out of the police salaries. The lump-sum amount will come out of this fiscal year’s budget, but there is also a line item in next fiscal year’s budget of $100,000 for the police pensions.

Two trustees will vote no on the budget, based on a straw poll at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Ken Anderson said that, while he has appreciated all the work that everyone has put into the budgeting process, he felt they could have done a better job of living within the village’s means, based on the salary increases for the Elburn Police Department.

“I’m not in favor of the police increases,” he said.

Calling himself fiscally conservative, Anderson said that although he believes that people should be rewarded for their efforts, in these economic times, everybody needs to work together. He said that if village officials had extrapolated the operating budget plan five years out, like they did for the Public Works budget, they would see that after year one or two, they have used all their reserves for salaries.

The other ‘no’ vote will be Jerry Schmidt, who said he thought more money should have been allocated to the Public Works budget, for items such as maintenance of Prairie Park and the pavilion, a building to store the village’s salt, and more funding for street maintenance.