The village continued the budget process at their final work session Thursday evening where trustees, members of the Citizens Budget Review Advisory Committee (CBRAC) and residents discussed some of the final aspects of the 2012-2013 budget proposal. Topics such as funding the expansion of the senior center, roller rink construction and police department and fire department costs were also discussed.
“Point towards a budget which is conservative, prudent, appropriate,” said trustee Andrew Cavanaugh, chair of the Finance Committee, describing the village’s budget goals for this year. Preliminary budget points were provided to Cavanaugh from the CBRAC, and acted as the basis of the session.
Cavanaugh also discussed the capital for the budget this year versus last year. Capital last year stood at $1 million for the operating budget, while this year “the original submission for capital was for $3.43 million,” said Cavanaugh. “I think that we can do two things, we can have a healthy current capital, capital that we would procreate this year and spend this year, about $2 million, and yet maintain those projects that were proposed for this year by starting the basic work on them but hold the funding on them for bonds issued, probably late this fiscal year or early next fiscal year, which would more or less keep us on schedule,” he added. “What I am proposing initially, and the trustees have seen the detail work on this, is that current capital will now use about $2 million and some of those original requests be put over into a proposed capital program for bonding.”
According to Cavanaugh, current funds will be spent on roads, sewers and sidewalks, projects that are done every year to keep the village the way it is. Special work, such as the senior center expansion (which also received $75,000 that was not used for synthetic turf and is now being put towards the expansion), the roller rink and a few other projects are included in the bond program.
Some other aspects of the budget that were discussed were:
The original request from the police department was for 55 sworn officers in the department, according to Cavanaugh. The secondary request was for 53 sworn officers. After discussion of the proposed budget, the committee decided to keep with their standard of 52 sworn officers in the department, according to information presented Thursday evening.
According to the budget presentation, it has been noted that fire department overtime has dropped $20,000 in the last half year.
Kristina Russo, chair of the CBRAC, proposed to discuss the cost benefit of switching from village-owned vehicles to mile reimbursement. According to the presentation, there are currently about 15 village vehicles, five of which are used for commuting (only five individuals are authorized to take village vehicles home).
“One thing I think, and this was suggested a year ago, we could sell a couple of the cars,” said trustee Nick Episcopia. While he suggested that it is not a huge budget saver because the cars are older (they are refurbished, unmarked cars) they still need to be maintained and have to have insurance.
“There is not too much left to eat down in this budget,” said Cavanaugh. “ I think we have developed a budget that is workable.”
All three members of the Finance Committee - trustees Cavanaugh, Episcopia and John Watras - unanimously recommended adopting the budget.
The next board of trustee meeting will be March 15 at 8 p.m. at village hall.