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CL Park District proposes $14.8 million budget

Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 11:46 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake Park District posted a notice Friday for a public hearing on its proposed 2014-15 budget, which closely mirrors last year’s spending plan.

The $14.8 million budget is roughly $1,000 more than last year’s plan but includes more property tax revenue as it is set to increase from $6.6 million to $6.9 million. The tax rate would increase from 46 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value to 51 cents per $100 of EAV.

The park district makes up about 5 percent of a resident’s tax bill.

“There is nothing earth shattering here. It is a pretty standard budget,” said Debra Oldham, superintendent of business services for the district. “We are just trying to keep our parks in good repair in a fiscally responsible manner.”

Park development and improvement has the largest spending increase with the total moving from $2 million last year to $2.4 million this year. Oldham said the district’s biggest project this year is the $1.2 million renovation of Woodscreek Park.

A $400,000 grant was awarded to the district for the project.

Spending decreases come in program expenses and salaries. Program expenses would decrease from $1.7 million to $1.4 million while salary and benefit costs would drop from $4.3 million to $4.2 million.

Reserve funds would be spent down by $454,790 in an effort to prevent the reserves from being underutilized. The proposed budget would leave the park district with a $5.2 million balance at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

“We look every year at our ending fund balances and try to keep most of them at three or four months of operating coverage, which is right where that would leave us,” Oldham said.

The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. May 15 during the monthly board of commissioners meeting. After the hearing, the board will vote to ratify it. All meeting are held at the park district administrative offices on 1 E. Crystal Lake Ave.

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