by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Police Chief Steve Smith presented a draft budget to the Village Board at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Although Village President Dave Anderson said that the final total will not be known until the police department contract is signed and the salaries are plugged in, he expects the total budget will be about $1.2 million—the same as it was last year.
Smith is asking for an increase of $34,000 over last year’s budget for part-time salaries. That number assumes an increase in the number of personal and sick days used by full-time officers, due to the increase this year in the amount that some of them will earn, as well as to pay two part-time officers to cover the shift of one full-time officer out on disability.
Additional items include another $50,000 in legal fees to cover expenses for ongoing litigation against the village, and $60,000 for auto fuel, an increase of $12,000 over the $48,000 budgeted for this year, based on possible cost per gallon increases this coming year, due to potential problems arising in the Middle East.
Several trustees suggested that the village look into bidding out the fuel prices, in order to lock in a dollar per gallon amount for the year.
The training line item request of $7,500 is in response to potential issues related to the G-8 Summit scheduled for this year in Chicago. Smith said that city officials are expecting 50,000 demonstrators, and many of them are expected to be taking the train into the city and back out.
The request for $90,800 is for a full-time dispatcher and an annual wireless internet service fee for all squad computers, and is about $12,000 less than if the village had renewed its service contract with Kane County.
The annual lease payment for two squad cars is expected to cost $20,000, with an additional $35,000 to cover vehicle maintenance.
This coming fiscal year the village will begin to include a portion of several public works employees’ salaries in the separate Metra budget, based on the maintenance-related activities they perform at the Elburn Metra facility. The budget request for Metra-related expenses includes $43,000 for wages for police department and public works employees to provide parking enforcement and maintenance, $10,000 for monthly fees for support and other services for the parking lot pay system, as well as the security camera system, and $9,000 for auto fuel and other expenses. According to Village Administrator Erin Willret, revenues from the parking fees offset some of the expenses, but she does expect there to be a positive cash flow.
According to Anderson, this is only the first review of the police department budget, and the board will have additional discussions before it is approved.