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Village Vision News

Village trustees approve fiscal year 2019 budget

Thursday, December 13, 2018

At the December 3 Board meeting, which built upon several weeks of discussion, trustees voted to adopt the Village’s annual operating and capital budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins January 1, 2019, and runs through December 31, 2019.

Total revenues, including interfund transfers in, for 2018 are projected to be $9,488,446 — compared to $9,172,403 budgeted for 2018. Total expenses, including interfund transfers out, for 2018 are projected to be $7,661,064 — compared to $8,915,400 budgeted for 2018. The General Fund’s ending fund balance is projected to be $8,391,622 at the end of 2019.

As has been reported earlier, the Board agreed not to change salaries for incoming officeholders, in line with its decision to do the same in 2016. Village employees — both part- and full-time — will receive 3-percent increase in wages. The Motor Fuel Tax, imposed by the state, is received monthly by the Village and is restricted for street-related maintenance, improvements and projects. Total revenue from this tax for 2019 is budgeted at $95,600.

For 2019, using interfund transfers, the Village will move $1,105,569 into the Capital Project Fund for current and future capital projects, and $250,000 into the Economic Development Fund. A major expense again for 2019 will be Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loan payments of $323,232 for the water plant.

Major budgeted items for projects in 2019 include: design engineering and construction expenses for Phillip Circle/Cale Court improvements for $1,308,800 (combined); annual pavement maintenance for $187,000 (combined); design of a grade school walking trail for $30,000; upgrades to the amphitheater in Forsyth Park for $50,000; rebuild of four filters at the water plant for $90,000; backstops at Diamond Nos. 4 and 5 at $90,150 (combined); two new tennis/pickleball courts for $200,000; and striping of one tennis court for use as a pickleball court for $30,000.

As the new fiscal year began a year ago, the actual balance in the Hotel/Motel Fund as of December 31, 2017, was $663,377.30, with a projected balance at the end of this year of $888,793.30. This fund plays a crucial role in funding events/facilities that bring visitors to the Village.

When the voting was done, Trustee Jim Peck was the lone dissenting vote, due to his belief that the Village should use Motor Fuel Tax funds to pay for upgrading parts of Route 51, particularly the intersection at Route 51 and County Highway 20. Peck has said for months that this area of roadway, which is in obvious need of repair, is a poor reflection on Forsyth since it is the first intersection visitors see as they arrive from the north. Peck has also expressed his concern for the hundreds of residents who travel over that road daily.

“It makes a huge statement about our Village,” Peck said, noting that trustees were willing to spend $50,000 for upgrades to the park’s bandstand that he said “will be used by a few people two times a year.”

Village Administrator David Strohl agreed with other trustees in saying that the road is not the responsibility of the Village.

“It’s not our intersection,” Strohl said. “I can’t professionally recommend getting involved with two jurisdictions (the county and the state) when it’s not our road.”

The budget passed by a vote of 5-1.

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