by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—With expenditures still outweighing income on the first draft of the 2012-13 budget, the Elburn Village Board looked for ideas of what to cut and what to keep at its meeting on Monday.
With the result of the referendum on Tuesday, March 20, not being known at Monday’s meeting, the board speculated what could be done if it didn’t pass. The additional tax line item would help the village maintain a balanced budget. Even if it passed, cuts would still need to be made. Auto fuel costs will most certainly rise, said Village Administrator Erin Willrett, and big issues like repairs to the village hall and everyday expenses need to be addressed.
“We’ll have to cut everything that is not essential services,” trustee Jeff Walters said. “We may be able to take out a few trees, but we won’t be planting any.”
Another area to cut that was discussed was the mosquito abatement program that costs approximately $5,000 a year for spraying and other measures.
“That’s an area that homeowners can address. We don’t have a money tree,” Board President Dave Anderson said.
Looming on everyone’s mind is the $162,000 debt to the police pension fund that covers the contribution to the fund now that Elburn is over the 5,000 population mark. That payment is mandated by the state for this year only. Another lesser payment will be mandatory in subsequent years.
“I would recommend that we pay it (out of this budget). We owe that money. I see no reason to abdicate our responsibility. Have it done and over with while we have money in the bank,” Anderson said. “We talked to Mike (Greenen, village treasurer), and we can do it. It will make a cut in our balances, but then it’s behind us.”
The budget will open to public hearing on Monday, April 2, and the vote to approve the appropriation ordinance and the budget ordinance will take place on Monday, April 16.