Morton Grove looking at balanced budget
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:30AM
MORTON GROVE — Morton Grove officials are looking at a balanced budget for next year with expected revenue slightly outpacing expenses.
Preliminary figures project revenue next year at almost $24.8 million with expenditures at about $24.75 million. The village is projecting a surplus of $45,171.
“I don’t expect these figures to change very much,” Village Administrator Ryan Horne told trustees as last week’s budget meeting.
He called the surplus “razor thin,” but added that it will allow the village to maintain the 25 percent reserve operating funds that trustees have set as a target. The money is used for such things as meeting unexpected expenses or covering operating costs when tax payments from the county or state are late.
Initial figures show that the balance at the end of next year will be 25.74 percent.
Trustees have just begun to look at the budget, with two brief budget meetings held in October and last week.
A series of additional workshops are scheduled with a series of workshops prior to final approval of the 2013 budget and 2012 levy in December.
The village has scheduled workshops Nov. 20 and 27, and Dec. 5. Those begin at 6 p.m. at the Richard T. Flickinger Center, 6101 Capulina Ave.
Trustees will hold a first reading of the budget and levy ordinances at the regular Nov. 26 village board meeting. Final approval of both, as well as a series of tax levy abatements, is slated for the Dec. 10 regular board meeting.
Horne said the budget does not call for an increase in property taxes, but the village does anticipate some higher revenues in areas such as home rule sales taxes.
Overall, he said, tax revenue is expected to increase about 3.2 percent.
Also in next year’s budget, Horne said the village is budgeting to have its website overhauled to provide more timely information for residents. “We are old and outdated,” he said.
In addition, Horne said the village plans to increase the frequency of its newsletter from quarterly to every other month.
“Next year were going to find the best way to be transparent and provide information,” Horne said.
Trustee Dan DiMaria questioned a proposed $50,000 allocation for professional services to update the website and the newsletter, though he also said they need to look professional.
“It just seems high,” he said.
Trustee Maria Toth said that the initial cost to update the website will not be a continuing annual cost to the village.
Trustee Shel Marcus said that with new technology the village needs to look at all options for providing information to residents.
“To reach the residents we’ve got to look at all of these,” he said.