Island Lake approves balanced budget

ISLAND LAKE – A factious discussion on whether Island Lake's annual budget should be tabled Thursday evening highlighted leftover tensions from last year's election.

The Island Lake Village Board approved the balanced, $7.6 million budget in a 4-1 vote with one trustee abstaining.

Two trustees had requested that the budget be tabled until the next meeting so that they would have time to review the document. Trustee Shannon Fox said she hadn't gotten a copy of the budget until the day before.

Trustee Keith Johns, who is the chairman of the Finance Committee, opposed the move.

"That's been available since Thursday, and you guys didn't attend a single committee meeting," Johns said. "We had three separate committee meetings. Two of them were in the afternoon, and one of them was requested to be in the evening."

But Fox said she had been asking about the budget and committee meetings since January, adding that she hopes this process of "playing games" doesn't repeat next year.

The budget includes a total of $150,000 for the police pension fund, including the $50,000 in developer impact fees that the Village Board approved in February.

The allocation made the first dent in the nearly $400,000 owed to the pension fund.

Instead of going into the police pension fund as required by state law, the nearly $400,000 had been used to pay village bills over several years.

The finance director who authorized the payments was fired by the board earlier this year in a 4-3 vote.

The salary for his position, which has not been filled, makes up most of the additional $100,000 headed to repay the fund, village treasurer Ed McGinty said. The salary of another administrative position was reduced when an older employee retired and was replaced by a new, cheaper employee.

The budget is for the fiscal year that started May 1.

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