After three weeks of shaping and reshaping the numbers, Brookfield’s village board will vote to adopt a balanced budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year at its regularly scheduled meeting July 11. In doing so, they’ll be approving layoffs for up to seven village employees.

A list of final cuts given to trustees by Village Manager Dave Owen shows that one employee will be cut from the village manager’s office, while another three will come in the Public Works Department. In all, the cuts are expected to save the village over $163,000 in salary and benefit costs.

The names of those affected have not been made public, but in his list of cuts, Owen showed that in addition to the one position in his office, cuts are expected in Public Works administration and in that department’s building maintenance, street maintenance and commuter rail station maintenance divisions. Four full-time Public Works employees will reportedly lose their jobs in addition to one part-time Public Works employee and one member of the department’s clerical staff.

“The village board feels these cuts are necessary in Public Works staff to help with this budget crisis,” said Public Works Director William Brandt. “Staff will be let go, but will have a chance to be recalled according to the union contract.”

Owen said that he and attorney Michael Durkin are currently negotiating with representatives from SEIU Local 73, which represents village employees.

“No letters have been sent to anyone yet,” Owen said. “Some may be finalized as early as by the end of [this] week, some at the end of the summer. Those things are still being tossed around.”

Jon Baker, the union representative from Local 73, said that both sides were interested in getting the negotiations completed as quickly as possible. Since the Public Works employees are covered by a union contract, the village will have to comply with the terms of that deal. The village hall clerical staff is in the process of negotiating a union contract, and the union is attempting to reach an agreement on how the clerical layoffs will be handled.

“The union is trying to work with the village to not necessarily prevent the layoffs, but to find a way to minimize the impact of the layoffs,” Baker said. He would not comment on the specifics of the negotiations.

The cuts in the Public Works Department are not unexpected. Village President Michael Garvey hinted prior to the current budget discussions that job cuts would be made at village hall. And in the past, specifically during budget talks last year, he was critical of personnel costs within the Public Works Department, which rose sharply during the administration of former Village President Bill Russ. Garvey was a village trustee during 2004.

Garvey, however, deflected responsibility for the cuts, saying the recommendations came from Village Manager Dave Owen.

“The village manager did recommend some cuts, and they will affect his office and Public Works,” Garvey said. “The village manager can make those cuts and he is the one doing it.”

Owen said that finalizing this budget was made harder because of the personnel cuts involved.

“It’s only more difficult because it most likely affects people’s lives,” Owen said. “With a piece of equipment, you can always get by for another year. When you affect people, it’s difficult.”

The cuts will help the village formalize a balanced budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year, which began May 1. According to the most recent numbers submitted by Owen and Finance Director John Dolasinski, the village’s general fund predicts revenues to be about $5,000 higher than expenditures.

In addition to the personnel cuts, Owen increased revenue predictions in village ambulance fees, which are collected from residents’ insurance companies. The village expects to clear $375,000 from ambulance fees in 2005-06; last year the village took in approximately $225,000.

“Based on our actual experience for ambulance fees, they’re starting to come in consistently at a higher rate,” Dolasinski said. “We’re very confident with the proposed increase in revenue.”

The final budget also shows an additional $100,000 in grant money. One of the grants the village is currently investigating is from West Suburban Mass Transit, and may be able to defray the cost of rebuilding the Brookfield Avenue pedestrian bridge over Salt Creek.

The general fund will also receive a boost in the form of some $500,000 in transfers from the water and garbage funds. According to Dolasinski, the transfers are being done in order to make up for two years during which water and garbage fund money was not transferred to cover administrative costs in those areas.

“There’s been a lot of discussion during the last couple of years about what should have been reimbursed to the general fund,” Dolasinski said. “There were reimbursements from the water and garbage funds that were missed in 2001 and 2002 prior to me being here.”

The board will consider the final budget at its July 11 meeting and is also expected to pass its annual appropriations ordinance the same evening. The appropriations ordinance is the legal document that limits village spending. The budget, however, will serve as the village’s policy document on spending.

A copy of the village’s appropriations ordinance is currently on display at village hall for anyone who wishes to view it.