SUGAR GROVE – The 2018-19 fiscal budget for Sugar Grove was a prime topic of the Village Board meeting March 6.
Finance Director Matt Anastasia led the discussion and presented the proposed budget.
“There are three big topics of discussion,” Anastasia said. “The state of Illinois passed a proposed cut to the LGDF [Local Government Distributive Fund], which is your state income tax. It is still in effect till June 30. The reduction is about $100,000 to $110,000, which will continue to next year. That is a big reduction.”
The village will continue to have a 10 percent reduction for revenue, about $110,000, through July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019, he said.
“The second thing is medical insurance ranging from a 7 percent to 21 percent increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield,” Anastasia said. “The PPO plans were definitely larger. But a 17 percent average increase as a whole is pretty harsh. We’re a small group – not over 50 full time. Fifty would be considered a large group. Currently, we have 31. With part-time staff, we have 37 to 40. Everyone has a different premium based on age since we aren’t a large group.”
Funding for the police pension also was one of the three major topics Anastasia discussed.
“In the last year’s budget, we approved 90 percent funding for [the] police pension,” he said. “We anticipated in the next three years to go up to 100 percent funding. In total, our property tax levy only went up $36,000. We instantly used that money and then some. This year, we weren’t able to increase to the 95 percent, but we are staying at the 90 percent for funding the police pension. Those were the large items affecting the budget.”
Anastasia mentioned they were able to reduce the initial deficit they found by removing unnecessary items.
“The initial deficit was $362,000 for the general fund, but we got it down to $216,000 by going down line by line and cutting out any unnecessary items that didn’t need to be done right away,” he said. “The first assumption would be increasing building permit revenue. We discussed it at previous meetings. The expense we cut was the Equipment Replacement Fund transfers by 50 percent in all departments. This resulted in a $131,500 shortfall of equipment replacement in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget. This is a short-term fix.”
The village anticipates finishing the 2017-18 fiscal year with a deficit of $317,109 for the general fund, Anastasia said. There are several factors contributing to the deficit.
“The emergency repair of the Mallard Point sinkhole was unbudgeted at $97,188,” he said. “There was a salt allotment that didn’t get invoiced until July, and it was an unbudgeted expense around $82,000. There was a Route 88 evaluation that was unbudgeted. With the reduction in revenues and the overspending, we are looking at a deficit of $317,109.”
The Village Board plans on conducting further discussions about the 2018-19 fiscal budget at upcoming board meetings.