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Village Vision News

Board approves budget for 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Switch over to calendar fiscal year begins now

Trustees unanimously approved an eight-month operating and capital budget for 2015 during the new business portion of the April 20 board meeting. For the period of May 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015, which is two-thirds of a year, the total budget was passed at $4,579,865.

A brief public hearing preceded the vote. The board had already discussed the topic of the budget at length in previous weeks so the motion to approve from Trustee Bob Gruenewald came quickly. All votes were Yea.

The reason for an eight-month budget rather than a full 12 months is to allow the village to make the change from a May to April fiscal year over to a fiscal year that mirrors the calendar year.

The move came about after a suggestion several months ago by Village Administrator David Strohl. In May of last year, Strohl recommended passage of Ordinance No. 913, amending Title III, Chapter 32 of the Village Code regarding the definition of the village’s fiscal year. Last week’s unanimous approval by trustees changes the fiscal year to follow the calendar year beginning with this newly approved eight-month budget for 2015.

Strohl said he likes the shift for a number of reasons.

“Making this change aligns our fiscal year with a number of things, and this just makes sense,” he said. “I’d say more communities are moving toward a calendar-year basis for their fiscal years.”

When comparing this new eight-month budget to last year’s 12-month budget, most revenues will show a loss compared to what was estimated. The same can be said for 2014/2015 estimated expenses, which will show a decrease. However, overall, the village projects to take in $783,634 more in revenues compared to expenses, an 81 percent increase from last year. That puts the General Fund’s estimated end balance, including reserves, at year’s end to be $6,156,399.19.

Wages will figure at a 2 percent increase, Strohl said. Health insurance costs amount to what he termed as “an average increase – not as bad as previous years.”

Big-expense items in the budget include $65,000 for improvements to the Forsyth Park tennis courts. Design work for the West Forsyth Parkway to County Highway 20 overlay is another $51,000. A new roof for Forsyth Public Library will cost $50,000, and a replacement mower for the park department will cost $40,000.

Additionally, the village must continue to meet its loan payments with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the Water Plant in the amount of $232,250 and the pipeline for another $49,150.

Overall, Strohl thought the budgeting process went pretty well as he reflected on recent constructive conversations among himself, the mayor and trustees.

“We had some useful discussions,” he said. “A lot of decisions will hinge on future planning.”

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