by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”With current projections of a $114,000 deficit in the general fund, the Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed several potential ways to save money. The board has established a $100,000 maximum deficit for the current fiscal year, so the measures would address $14,000 of the total deficit.
All measures involved lowering personnel expenses.
The village will take advantage of an offer made by one of the village staff members to voluntarily work reduced hours for a three-month period during the winter when that individuals workload is typically reduced.
In addition, the village is considering designating Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Day as furlough days. These are federal holidays, during which village employees typically work, so the furlough would not have a significant impact on services to residents.
Another possibility for furlough days is the week between Christmas and New Year’s, during which the village typically does not experience much demand for services. Employees would be asked to take the time off, and either use their vacation time in order to be paid or to take the days off without pay.
Furlough days would not include Police Department employees who are represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police.
Several other options discussed in an executive closed session include a reclassification of a position to a lower grade and additional possible layoffs.
Village President Sean Michels said that he would not be comfortable shutting down the village office for an entire week, and board members generally agreed that a skeleton crew of one or two employees would be adequate.
However, Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said that these changes would impact village services.
â€œIf we have to cut the budget, people shouldn’t expect the same level of service,â€ he said.