The Niles Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 to continue discussing the 2010-2011 Village Budget. The draft budget, as prepared by staff and endorsed by Mayor Bob Callero, projects a $1.8 million drawdown of the existing General Fund cash reserve. The drawdown results from an increase in the village contribution to the municipal pension funds – an expense mandated by Illinois statutes.
The budget draft has been a work in progress for three months. Village department heads worked with the village manager and finance director to prioritize expense requests. Only the most necessary items are being funded in these fiscally challenging times.
While most of the budget requests continue the level of service provided in recent years, discussion will take place on which expenses may be delayed or eliminated. The entire board will discuss the following recommendations for cost savings:
- Eliminate 5% of current staff positions (12 employees) - $
- Revise employee health insurance deductibles and co-pays - $75,000
- Reduce street salting expense by employing new technology - $69,000
- Cancel excess layers of coverage on general insurance policies - $21,000
- Eliminate taxi cab subsidy for seniors - $15,000
In a service organization, most of the expenses relate to payroll and employees. Reducing the headcount by 5% will cause some noticeable service changes, but it’s the only realistic place to reduce expenses in a significant manner.
On the revenue side, the village continues to be affected by the economic recession. Sales tax revenues were down again in the current year and are, in fact, less than was collected in 2006. To prevent the further draw against the Village reserves, the Board will discuss the following recommendations for increased revenues:
- Property Tax Increase ($30 per average household) - $430,000
- Gasoline tax on motor fuel - $455,000
- Increased traffic fines and fees - $250,000
- Charge for Medical “Lifeline” service - $43,000
- Increase vehicle sticker fees - $150,000
- Charge schools for crossing guards - $200,000
- Charge $1.00 per ride on the Niles Bus - $300,000
- Red light camera traffic enforcement - $150,000
The special meeting starts at 7 p.m. All residents are invited to attend.