Local

Algonquin plans $6.3M in downtown improvements in proposed 2018 budget

Final budget slated for April 4 approval

A view of business in downtown Algonquin Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
A view of business in downtown Algonquin Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

ALGONQUIN – The village plans to invest millions in its downtown during the next year.

The proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year shows an increase from the previous year in spending in the water and sewer improvement and construction fund – in part because of some downtown improvements.

Overall, the village plans to spend about $49 million in the next budget year and take in about $42 million, village documents show.

The village’s general fund is expected to be balanced at about $19 million. The general fund pays for core services, including police, administration costs and parks and recreation. The general fund budget shows about a 2 percent decrease in revenues and expenditures compared with the previous fiscal year, according to village documents.

“It is the overriding principle of the budget to deliver outstanding service to our citizens at a reasonable price without drawing down the village’s working capital, assuming no additional tax burden on our residents,” Village Manager Tim Schloneger wrote in a memo.

In the village’s water and sewer improvement and construction fund, reserves are expected to be used to balance the estimated $6.6 million spent and $1.6 million being taken in, documents show. In fiscal 2017, about
$2.6 million in expenditures were budgeted, documents show.  

The motor fuel tax and street improvement fund’s budget shows about a $4 million deficit, documents show. About $9.5 million in expenditures is expected in the street improvement fund, documents show.

Algonquin Assistant Village Manager Michael Kumbera said the practice of accumulating reserves to complete capital projects is common and allows the village to draw from those funds when major projects come about. 

In total, about $6.3 million in improvements are budgeted for downtown plans, Kumbera said, including the replacement of existing water main and sanitary sewers, the relocating of overhead utilities, and construction oversight and engineering for future phases of the downtown redevelopment and construction.

The improvements are part of a plan for nearly $30 million in downtown improvements over the course of several years.

Projections for sales tax revenue for the village are expected to increase
1.3 percent, bringing in about $7.7 million – the largest source of revenue for the general fund budget, documents show.

Current state projections show an income tax decrease of 13 percent, so the village is planning on receiving about $3.4 million in income tax, documents show.

The village is expecting about
$6 million from real estate taxes. The village decreased its property tax levy this year, bringing it below 2008 levels, Kumbera said.

No significant reduction in services to residents is expected in the next budget year, and the village’s cash position remains solid, Schloneger wrote in the memo. No new taxes, personnel or debt is expected, documents show.  

About $9.7 million in the general fund is dedicated to the police department. About $8 million of that comes from the cost to staff the department. Capital expenditures for the police department include about $102,000 for two replacement squad cars and a squad video recording system capital lease. 

About $250,000 in expenditures is budgeted for recreational programs. 

Although the number of courses offered for recreation has decreased from 1,185 to 904 in the past five years, the cancellation rate also has decreased from 45 percent to 16 percent in the same time frame, Kumbera said, which reflects the efforts of the village to have more quality over quantity when it comes to recreation courses. 

A public hearing will take place at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday at the Ganek Municipal Center, 2200 Harnish Drive, Algonquin, regarding the proposed budget for fiscal 2018. The Village Board will vote April 4 whether to approve the budget, and the fiscal year begins May 1.

To view the budget draft, visit http://shawurl.com/316c

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