On Tuesday, November 8, 2011, the Downers Grove Village Council adopted the FY12 Municipal Budget. This is the third annual budget prepared per the recommendations of the Long Range Financial Plan (LRFP).
In 2010 and 2011, significant changes to the Village's budget and operations were made to address a substantial structural financial gap of $4.5 million. Changes included reductions and eliminations of Village services and programs, voluntary and involuntary staffing reductions and revenue enhancements. Because these appropriate actions were taken in 2010 and 2011, the Village is well positioned for FY12.
The FY12 Budget reflects the Village's continued commitment to sound financial stewardship and achieves several goals including:
- A balanced General Fund budget (revenues equal to expenses) consistent with recommendations in the Long Range Financial Plan.
- Continued implementation of recommendations the 2010 Water Rate Study.
- Continued investment in needed infrastructure improvements in a sustainable manner.
The General Fund is the main operating fund of the Village and includes the majority of Village services. The General Fund budget is balanced with revenues and expenses of $41.35 million. Cost containment features prominently into daily operations and is evident in the fact that the budgeted FY12 expenses are nearly $1.4 million less than 2007 actual expenses.
Water Fund Plan
In 2010, the Village Council approved the Water Rate Study Report. The goal of the study was to review water rates to ensure adequate funding is available for current operations, maintenance, and future improvement projects.
The FY12 Water Fund budget reflects the recommended increase in water rates from the Water Rate Study, as well as increases in the cost of purchasing water from the DuPage Water Commission that will take effect January 1, 2012. Revenues from the sale of water are budgeted to be $11.16 million, up from the FY11 estimated revenues of $9.1 million.
Sustainable funding for the Village's infrastructure systems was the primary focus of the 2012-14 Long Range Financial Plan meetings. In FY12, projects for street reconstruction and maintenance, stormwater infrastructure improvements, sidewalks and other items amount to $33,564,875.
Property Tax Levy
While the total municipal budget relies on a number of sources of revenue, the property tax levy continues to be a focus of judging the fiscal health of a community. Property taxes account for about 25% of the General Fund budget.
The total Property Tax Levy is proposed to decline by $393,104, compared to the FY11 budget. The State of Illinois requires each municipality to contribute to their Police and Fire Pension funds according to minimum contribution standards found in state statutes. In 2011, the State amended the public safety pension funding regulations which reduces the amount the Village will contribute for public safety pensions in FY12.
The three primary goals including a balanced General Fund budget, continued implementation of the 2010 Water Rate Study Report and the continued investment in needed infrastructure improvements have been achieved. Highlights of the Village's FY12 Budget include:
- Balanced General Fund with revenues and expenses equal at $41.35 million.
- $393,104 reduction in Public Safety pension expenses.
- $60,000 reduction in post-employment benefit expenses.
- $393,104 reduction in the total property tax levy.
- Continued reduction in staffing through attrition.
- Funding for the continued investment in Village infrastructure.
- Implementation of the recommendations for the operation of the water system.
- Funding for the 2012 High Priority Action Items.
As a result, the Village is positioned for a successful FY12 and continued financial health in the coming years.