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Lake in the Hills reviews proposed balanced budget

Lake in the Hills
Lake in the Hills

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Lake in the Hills trustees discussed a proposed budget for fiscal 2018 Tuesday, which places a focus on capital projects that can no longer be deferred.

The 2018 budget was at a deficit of $1 million, but trustees approved two new utility taxes Thursday for gas and electric use that are estimated to bring
$1.2 million in additional revenue.

Village President Russ Ruzanski said he is relieved the budget is balanced, but Trustee Bob Huckins reminded him that it comes at the price of new taxes.

“All that money is going to go forward to capital improvement, so we’ll now have a dedicated revenue source that we didn’t have before,” Ruzanski said. “We’ve been pulling from the general fund, which is probably why we were always behind. Hopefully, we can stretch a string of balanced budgets in the future.”

Total revenue for the village is budgeted at $26,245,908, a 1.4 percent decrease from 2017, according to village documents.

The village plans to spend $26,377,059 on purchases that include:

• $495,000 for multiple park playground replacements, park expansions and resurfacing projects, as well as facility roofing and siding replacements

• $200,000 on Village Hall building modifications, such as replacing carpeting, installing an electronic sign and centralizing its customer service operations

• $184,000 to replace four Public Works vehicles and a tractor for facility and grounds maintenance and plowing snow

• $126,000 to replace four police squad vehicles

• $30,000 to buy a Storage Area Network for ongoing essential organizational technology infrastructure upgrades

• $1,211,000 for the Industrial Drive water main extension and Randall Road water main relocation projects

• $284,500 to eliminate displaced runway thresholds and to replace a vehicle gate for the Lake in the Hills airport

• $67,210 to pay principal and interest payments on bonds in the Airport Fund

For fiscal 2018, the village plans to have 110 full-time employees, 10 part-time workers and 81 seasonal employees. Four positions were cut in 2017 to reduce expenses, Village Administrator Jennifer Clough said.

Employees will receive a 2 percent increase in salary through a cost-of-living adjustment, effective Jan. 1, and a 3 percent merit pool adjustment based on annual performance evaluations in July, Clough said.

The 2018 budget allocates funds for economic development studies that would be pursued at the direction of the Village Board. It also makes indirect investments in the appearance and safety of the village in hopes of attracting and retaining more businesses, Clough said.

The Lake in the Hills Airport is expected to receive $1,253,087 in revenue and have $1,293,030 in expenses, according to village documents.

Future projects budgeted also include redoing 3.3 miles of road, completing phase 2 of replanting trees for the emerald ash borer replacement project and creating a restoration fund for the lake for improvements such as dredging.

Each year, budget requests are submitted to the village administrator, and departmental budget meetings are held to determine amounts. The proposed budget was submitted to the Village Board, and an ad hoc budget workshop was held Tuesday.

A budget hearing will be held at
7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate, and trustees will vote on the budget at a Village Board meeting Dec. 14.

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