Following on the heels of two workshop sessions last month, the Brookfield village administration on Monday formally presented its 2006-07 budget to the public.
At a public hearing during the village’s regular meeting, Village Manager Riccardo Ginex unveiled a a balanced budget that calls for millions of dollars in capital improvements, including water main replacements, street improvements and upgrades at village hall, the village’s police station and parks.
In the village’s general operating fund, which pays for day-to-day costs of the village including salaries and benefits, expenses are expected to be $12.66 million, an 8-percent increase over 2005-06.
Meanwhile, revenues for the coming fiscal year, which starts on May 1 are also predicted to be higher. According to the most recent budget summary provided by the village, revenues in 2006-07 are expected to come in at $12.29 million. That’s a 7-percent increase over the 2005-06 fiscal year.
The roughly $371,000 difference between revenues and expenditures in the coming fiscal year will be made up in large part by a $540,000 transfer from the motor fuel tax fund for costs related to the street improvement project on Prairie Avenue. The village also expects to receive $250,000 from the sale of two pieces of village-owned property. One is the unimproved extension of Sunnyside Avenue in the 4600 block, which served as a site for leaf collection in 2003, while the other is an alley in that same area.
As a result the village expects its general fund balance to increase slightly?”by $90,000?”by the end of next year.
The village board is expected to adopt both the budget and its appropriations ordinance (the legal document limiting village spending) at its next meeting on April 24.
In past years, the appropriations ordinance has set expenditure ceilings some 20 percent higher than the village budget. The reason for that was to allocate money for unforeseen expenditures.
But Village President Michael Garvey, at the second of the two March budget workshops, indicated that the appropriations ordinance for the 2006-07 fiscal year will mirror the budget.
If unexpected expenses surface, he said, the village manager can provide the board with an amendment to the appropriations ordinance.
By passing the budget prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on May 1, the village board is breaking with another precedent. For many years, the village has chosen to adopt its budget and appropriations ordinance in July, a full quarter into the fiscal year.
“It shouldn’t be something to celebrate,” Garvey said. “But based on history it is. When we’re not passing a budget until three months into a fiscal year, residents think it’s irresponsible.”
Among the biggest capital items in the coming budget are $2.65 million in water main replacements and $1.38 million in street improvements. Those are will be paid for by two bond issues that could total up to $10 million.
On Monday, the board unanimously voted to approve the sale of up to $5 million in bonds for the water system improvements. At its April 24 meeting, the board is expected to approve the sale of up to $5 million for street improvements.
The vote on the street bonds was delayed since Cook County has still not certified election results from the March 21 primary.
The debt service on the street bonds will be funded by a 1-percent sales tax approved by voters on election day.
Ginex said that in the coming weeks the village will also come through with a plan to finally replace all of the village’s water meters. A $2 million line item in the village budget, the water meter replacement program has been a perennial fixture in the budget, but has failed to be implemented.
Other significant capital expenditures in the budget include $350,000 for a new fire department pumper truck, $150,000 for an aerial lift truck and $115,000 for a new ambulance. The pumper and aerial lift will be financed over a five-year period.
The village is increasing its contribution to the police pension fund by $263,000 in 2006-07, and will embark on a series of police department improvements totaling another $20,000. The budget also includes money to hire an additional police officer, allowing Police Chief Thomas Schoenfeld to complete a restructuring of his command staff that will include the creation of a deputy chief position.
Other budgeted costs, include installing a new phone system for village hall ($40,000), software upgrades ($30,000) and improvements to the Edward Barcal Hall ($25,000). Improvements have also been budgeted at Jaycee/Ehlert and Kiwanis parks. Tennis courts at Ehlert will be repaired and bleachers installed. Park bleachers will be installed at Overholt Field in Kiwanis Park, along with some asphalt repair and fencing.