Brookfield’s village board at its meeting on Dec. 9 is expected to approve an operating budget for 2014 that largely mirrors its budget from 2013 in terms of expenses and revenues.
Operating revenues — money the village receives in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, state shared taxes and charges for services are predicted to remain flat, increasing less than 1 percent in 2014 compared to 2013.
Day-to-day operating expenditures are also predicted to remain fairly constant, a little more than $15 million in 2014. According to the draft budget presented to the village board last month, officials estimate that by the end of 2014 revenues will barely outpace expenditures and leave the village with about $2.4 million in its operating reserve.
Perhaps the most significant change in the budgeting process this fall has been the development of a rolling five-year capital improvement plan, a final version of which village staff presented to the village board on Nov. 25.
For 2014, the budget includes $1 million in funding for street improvement projects. While Brookfield has improved its main arteries, like Grand Boulevard, Prairie Avenue and Maple Avenue in recent years using a combination of grant funding and motor fuel tax funds, it has deferred residential side street improvements.
The last time any residential streets were improved was back in 2010, when two blocks of Oak Avenue on the north end of the village were widened and resurfaced. That was funded through a state grant. It’s been even longer since residential streets were addressed comprehensively.
Now that the village has a new street condition survey and is setting aside motor fuel tax money for side street resurfacing, it can better target improvement projects in coming years.
A major improvement project at Kiwanis Park, which broke ground in November, is also planned for 2014. The $550,000 improvement is being funded in part by a federal grant. It is expected to wrap up in late summer 2014.
The village will also continue its flood-mitigation program, offering residents a portion of the cost for installing home flood-prevention equipment. Another line item in the budget is a $500,000 expense, tentatively targeted for the construction of a pump station at Washington Avenue near Salt Creek. It’s unclear just how long it will take to make that project a reality.
Brookfield’s capital plan also calls for $230,000 to be spent on vehicle replacement for the department of Public Works and the police department. The village has set aside $60,000 per year for squad car replacement over the next five years. In 2014, the Department of Public Works will purchase a new heavy-duty pickup truck and a wood chipper.
The budget also contemplates a reduction in the amount the village spends on legal services. In 2013 the village budgeted $270,000 for legal fees, but have only experienced expenditures of $192,000 to date. For 2014, the village has budgeted $215,000 for legal services.
After passing the budget on Dec. 9, the village board expects to pass its annual appropriation ordinance — the legal document which sets maximum local government spending — at its first meeting in January. Since 2005-06, the appropriation ordinance has mirrored the village’s budget.