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McHenry budget gets committee approval

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 8:02 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 4:06 p.m. CST

McHENRY – The McHenry Finance Committee signed off on a proposed $38.6 million budget at its meeting Monday evening.

The budget had few changes from the draft the committee had discussed at its last meeting, primarily two reallocations for projects approved for this past year that hadn’t gotten done.

The McHenry City Council will consider the proposed budget at its annual town hall meeting April 28.

One change suggests utilizing unused sidewalk program dollars to redo the sidewalk where the city plans to install a boat dock and to connect it to the proposed Riverwalk extension, City Administrator Derik Morefield said.

Another proposes rolling the approved resurfacing of the Petersen Park south parking lot with repairing the park’s tennis courts, he said.

The projects are some of the smaller ones laid out in the draft budget, which also sets aside $550,000 for the design, engineering and bidding costs associated with a proposed recreation center and about $92,000 for maintenance and improvements to the 22-year-old McHenry Municipal Center.

Nearly $900,000 in general fund dollars for street improvements, including a revived street program and the Knox Drive extension, and another $540,000 in motor fuel tax dollars has been budgeted for improvements to McCullom Lake Road, Bull Valley Road and the intersection at Routes 120 and 31.

Much of the 4.25 percent increase to the city’s $18.9 million general fund budget is slated for employee raises and increased health insurance and retirement costs.

While one contract is still being negotiated, most union members are set to get a 2 percent cost-of-living increase and a step increase on their salary schedule. Nonunion employees will get a step increase, their first in four years, and no cost-of-living increase.

This is the last year the city will use the salary schedule for nonunion employees. The city plans on implementing a merit system, which will determine next year’s raises.

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