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Local

Sugar Grove Village Board approves proposed tax levy, discusses budget deficit

SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Village Board approved the annual property tax levy ordinance at its meeting Dec. 5.

The anticipated extension amount for the tax levy this year is $1,662,861, which is $44,764 or 2.76 percent above last year's tax levy extension. The proposed 2017 tax levy comes to a total of $4,166,853.57.

The village budget also was a topic of discussion. Village President Sean Michels commented on the general fund and the water and sewer fund.

"We are in a deficit in the general fund, but in the water and sewer sales, there was a significant surplus," Michels said. "That's something we'll have to look at in the next few months to see if it maintains that and how that affects the deficit over the past couple of years. We anticipated running a deficit in the water department but the new meters have really helped out considerably."

Last year, there were more than 1,000 meters with incorrect readings, and this year, that number has been reduced by 50 percent with fewer than 500 meters with incorrect readings, according to Sugar Grove's Director of Finance Matt Anastasia.

"[The] water and sewer fund [deficit was] expected to be higher. Some of that is due to the new meters being installed [and] getting more accurate reads," Anastasia said. "On an overall basis, we've captured a better read and helped residents to come in and pay down their balances."

Anastasia spoke about the running deficit in the general fund and a few items the village has dipped into the general fund.

"We are projecting a $222,000 deficit," Anastasia said. "We originally projected a $107,000 surplus, but throughout the year there have been some emergency repairs. Mainly, the Mallard Point sinkhole, which was about $100,000, so that pretty much ate up your surplus you had projected. Towing revenues were below. [Police] Chief [Nick Sikora] said there is a limit on the amount of tows we can do per year. Revenue was down from that."

It was noted expenses have gone down for waste disposal since the village switched to DC Trash of Illinois Inc. from Waste Management.

"Expenses have gone down," Anastasia said. "We were projecting the expenses to go down. We're still projecting the same type of surplus … You will see a decrease in revenue and expenses, but it is significantly lower. We haven't gotten back any money yet from recycling."

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