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Local

Woodstock increases capital outlay projects in 14-15 budget

WOODSTOCK – The city's proposed budget of $29.5 million in expenditures includes roadway repairs, a potential partnership with the fire department to beef up code enforcement, and purchases including a leaf machine and street sweeper.

The budget includes about $3.9 million for capital outlay – a 26-percent increase over last year's budget for such projects as the city tries to take advantage of a favorable market for construction, City Manager Roscoe Stelford said.

The city's budget, which the city council will vote on Tuesday, April 15, is balanced.

"It's a strong budget, going to meet the needs of our community, and it lives within its means," Stelford said.

The city has included $1 million for transportation needs for the third consecutive year. The money will help repair roads damaged during a long winter, Stelford said.

Officials also are planning for several outright purchases from the general fund that, in a different market, might have otherwise been financed, Stelford said. Those purchases include the street sweeper and leaf machine, which together will cost an estimated $330,000.

The budget also includes construction funds related to the Old Courthouse. Officials plan to finish the courthouse's roof and continue replacing windows during the upcoming fiscal year.

The city has placed the historic building on the market. Proposals from potential buyers are due May 1.

The 2014-15 budget also glimpses at city plans to further address the concerns of city tenants. In the fall, several addressed the council and told stories about their landlord's neglect for their needs.

Woodstock's budget includes a potential partnership with the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District that would allow the city to use fire officials to boost its code enforcement efforts. Stelford called the plan "preliminary."

"There was interest on both sides, but we haven't worked out the details on it yet," he said.

To view the budget in full, visit www.woodstockil.gov and click "FY2014/2015 Budget" on the left.

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