Park Forest Village Board Weighs 2009/2010 Budget

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Village Board was presented with the draft of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget on May 1. A public presentation was made at the Board meeting on May 4. The preparation of the Village’s Budget is the culmination of a year long process that began last August with a community survey, strategic planning meetings and gathering of information at the neighborhood meetings.

During the course of the budget process, the Board completes a six month review of operations, the audit review and preparation of the tax levy. Village staff prepares a five year capital replacement plan and trend analysis. The Board will have a total of seven budget review sessions. The next sessions scheduled will be May 27 and 28 at 6:30pm. A Saturday May 30 session will be held if there are any outstanding issues.

The budgeted expenditures in the General Fund after transfers are $19,164,839. General Fund revenues are projected at $18,120,991. The General Fund expenditures exceed proposed revenues by $1,043,848. A portion of the fund balance will be utilized to fund the difference between proposed revenues and expenditures. This Board decision was made when the 2008 levy was adopted in an effort to keep the tax levy increase as low as possible. Budgeted expenditures for all funds other than the Library Fund are $41,733,842. Budgeted revenues for all funds other than the Library Fund are $39,438,093.

Unfortunately, the economy has taken a negative turn with increased housing foreclosures and a slowing of new residential development. This has had a major impact on real estate transfer taxes, permits and inspection fees. Sales tax revenues remain flat with investments in economic development targeted to reverse this trend.

The Board approved a 3% Levy increase for 2008. Because of declining revenues in some areas and increasing costs, such as the budgeted 10% increase in risk management (IRMA) costs, the remaining 2009/2010 and Budget has been prepared with a 0% growth limit, with the exception of salary increases and uncontrollable increases such as health insurance, liability insurance (IRMA), and pension funds including Police, Fire, FICA and IMRF. Salary increases have been adjusted to reflect lower percentage increases for management.

A position in the Community Development Department has been eliminated. Also, capital spending has been reduced.

The Village Manager is accepting a 0% salary increase in the next fiscal year. Top-level administrators of all departments in grades 17-24 will receive a 1% increase in salary. The next tier of administration and management in grades 12-16 will receive a 2% increase in salary. Grades 1-11 will receive a 4% increase in salary.

The first two chapters of the Budget, which includes the overview and financial summary, are available in hard copy form at all Board meetings. The entire draft budget is available in the Clerks office and the Library for review.

Source: VOPF.COM, 2009/2010 Draft Budget