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Local

Sugar Grove budget expected to be in the red in mid-2020

Trustees also adopt ordinance for property tax levy

Chris Ott of EEI (right) gives a presentation of the 2020 road program to the Sugar Grove Village Board at its Tuesday meeting.
Chris Ott of EEI (right) gives a presentation of the 2020 road program to the Sugar Grove Village Board at its Tuesday meeting.

SUGAR GROVE – After beginning 2020 with a budget surplus, Sugar Grove's budget could fall into deficit mid-year.

Matt Anastasia, the village’s finance director, gave an overview highlighting the state of the finances at Tuesday night's Village Board meeting. When the budget was passed, the village had a surplus of $25,145.

Anastasia said what’s projected in six months is a general fund deficit of $5,131.

“What this is, is there’s an increase in revenues of roughly $128,000, but also an increase of expenses of $158,000,” he said.

Officials believe the surplus funding should pay for equipment replacement at a rate of 100% instead of 50%.

The village has fund balances to cover the general fund’s deficit, officials said.

The village’s water and sewer fund also is projecting a deficit of $285,000, which Anastasia said is going to be covered by fund balance from the general fund.

Property tax levy approved

In other developments, trustees adopted an ordinance levying for property taxes for fiscal year 2020-21.

The levy, as proposed, totals $4,180,250 and is estimated to amount to $1,766,879, should the county reduce the village’s request during the extension process under the Tax Cap Act.

The Village Board’s decision did not come without some concerns about increasing taxes.

“My position is I don’t want to have an increase in our property tax levy for the village,” Trustee Jen Konen said.

She called into question when the village will stop levying for increased funding and turning away opportunities to bring in added revenue through commercial development.

Trustee Ryan Walter shared a differing viewpoint, saying it’s the Village Board’s fiduciary duty to maintain the level of services provided to residents.  

“I hope at some point we’re going to get to a point where we don’t need to levy, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

Walter suggested that budget discussions serve as the best times to discuss ways to cut costs.

In a series of related actions, the Village Board approved some ordinances abating 2019 taxes related to debt service on various bonds.

The village is looking to commit alternate revenues to pay the debt service due on the bonds during the next year, according to board documents.

2020 Road Program

The trustees also took a close look at the 2020 Road Program at the meeting.

A presentation showed there are two options eyed for improvements.

Scenario No. 1 involves microsurfacing in the Windsor West subdivision, resurfacing McCannon Street and Yolane Drive, and cracksealing on various streets.

Scenario No. 2 includes everything outlined in option No. 1, plus resurfacing the remaining areas of Strafford Woods and an overlay on Mallard Lane, Brookhaven Circle, Edgewater Lane, Edgewater Court, Essex Court, Linden Court, Pebblebrook Court and Saddlebrook Lane.

Several trustees expressed support for option No. 2, saying the improvements are needed.

The village utilizes a number of preventive measures to ensure roads are safe to travel until improvements can be completed, officials said. Those include everything from seal cracking to microsurfacing.

The Village Board reached a consensus directing staff to look into option No. 2 further.

The village anticipates bidding to begin by February or early March 2020 with construction set for summer 2020.

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