Next Flossmoor budget closes gap with help from projected sales tax revenue

Buoyed by an anticipated half-million dollars in additional tax revenue, the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget for the Village of Flossmoor was passed unanimously by the board of trustees April 16.
The nearly $14 million budget leans in part on revenue projected to be collected from the  sales tax increase Flossmoor residents approved in a March referendum. The sales tax, which goes into effect July 1, is anticipated to bring in about $450,000 during the new fiscal year.
“That will only be for about three-quarters of the year,” said Flossmoor Village Manager Bridget Wachtel. “That is going to make a huge difference in the operating position of our budget for fiscal year ’19.”
Prior to the passage of the sales tax, a $421,000 deficit was anticipated in the general fund. Wachtel said at the meeting that, along with some other adjustments, the anticipated new revenue plugs that budget hole.
The 2018-19 budget, which runs from May 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019, marks the end of an ongoing five-year analysis program undertaken by the village. As the 2018-19 budget year progresses, the village’s financial staff will evaluate spending the past five years. When Flossmoor officials begin preparing for the 2019-2020 budget, they will look out toward the next five years of village finances.
The 162-page budget is available for view at Flossmoor Public Library, village hall and online at Village trustees, Mayor Paul Braun and Wachtel had discussed the budget’s development at the board’s previous three meetings. 
“It’s the proactive things we’ve done that have us all smiling up here tonight,” said Trustee James Mitros, referring to the previous year’s budget accomplishments. “Working on the water mains, working on the (Vollmer Road) reservoir, trying to stop the gap we had. We have a lot to be really thankful for tonight.”
Water-related issues continue to be a challenge in Flossmoor. Last year, costly repairs were needed to stop leaks at the Vollmer Road reservoir, and the village completed the last phase of a program that replaced more than six miles of leaky water mains. This year, Flossmoor plans to complete the installation of state-of-the-art residential water meters throughout the village.
Braun echoed Mitros’ comments and congratulated Wachtel and Finance Director Scott Bordui on working through some tough budget issues.
“This is the first time I think we’ve seen the Water and Sewer Fund have a surplus, thanks to the board’s proactive efforts,” Braun said.
Wachtel said budgeted capital projects are “minimal” in the 2018-19 budget. They include:

●     $1,726,577: Replace village’s small-use (household) water meters with digital meters.
●     $810,000: Reconstruction of Brookwood Drive Bridge over Butterfield Creek.
●     $102,000: Engineering for Brookwood Drive Bridge reconstruction.
●     $925,000: Purchase new fire truck.
●     $232,650: Purchase new firefighter air packs (carried on the back).
●     $35,000: Purchase new fire department car.
●     $25,000: Purchase new village manager’s car.
●     $25,000: Purchase new cargo van for public works.
●     $100,000: Purchase new generator for village hall.

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