Homewood approves budget with $500K surplus

The Homewood village board approved a budget with a surplus of more than $500,000 at its April 9 meeting.
Director of Finance Dennis Bubenik made a final presentation to the board at the meeting, outlining the major sources of both revenue and expenditures. A public hearing was held prior to the board meeting and went without any comments or questions from residents.
The allocation for the 2019-2020 fiscal year includes an operating budget of $32,123,159 and a capital budget of $3,085,264. With expected revenues, that results in a surplus of $538,735. 
The budget can be amended, as necessary, throughout the year.
The board also approved increases in several fees.
The tobacco license fee was raised from $400 to $600 per year. According to village documents, there are 17 licensed tobacco sellers in Homewood. It’s the first tobacco license fee increases in Homewood since 2015.
Changes were also made to liquor licensing, with some increases. Liquor license fees range from $25 to $4,000. They were last raised in 2015, as well.
Vice District Brewing asked for and was granted an advanced $20,000 payment as part of an agreement made with the village in 2016. Homewood agreed to pay $100,000 in business incentive funds to the craft brewery and tap room as reimbursement for development costs. 
It was to be paid in three installments. The first $80,000 payment came when the business opened last August. A $10,000 payment was to be made when Vice District was open for one year with another following at the two year anniversary of its opening. The village board approved a resolution authorizing all $20,000 remaining to be paid to the brewer immediately because of lost revenue resulting from permitting issues and unforeseen construction costs.
The start of board meetings was changed from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. beginning in May. Meetings will still be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

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