Village goal: Pare down projected $2 mill. deficit

By on February 26, 2010

Official expects ‘tough decisions’ on expenses
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Budget planning continued during Monday’s Village Board meeting, a process that started early this year so the village officials can find ways to pare down an expected deficit of nearly $2 million.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said the first draft of the 2010-11 budget shows projected revenue to be $4.1 million, compared to expenses totaling $5.9 million.

Even if the village limits expenses to those absolutely required—providing water and sewer services, police protection and street and sidewalk maintenance—the budget still will have a shortfall, Village President Dave Anderson said.

“The bottom line is, there is very little budge in this budget,” Anderson said.

The village has about $5 million in reserve funds, but village officials do not want to deplete those monies by continuing to use them to cover budget deficits.

The village already dipped into its reserves to cover a nearly $2 million shortfall in the 2009-10 budget. A deficit in the water and sewer fund was a significant part of the deficit in the village’s total $7 million budget.

Elburn officials are considering raising residents’ sewer and water charges to reduce this year’s expected budget deficit, which will include a shortfall of more than $500,000 in the water and sewer fund (see related story).

Department heads submitted budget request forms for expenses they determine are absolutely necessary, and the Village Board is reviewing them. From among the requests, the board will decide during the coming weeks what proposed expenses to include in the budget this June.

“We need to determine what is important to residents,” Willrett said.

Officials also will be looking at different staff salary options to reduce expenses.

“There are some tough decisions that are going to have to be made in the next few weeks,” Willrett said.

The next budget will not include raises for village employees, whose salaries comprise one third of the budget.