Yorkville budget: Pay raises, property tax cuts
By steve Lord email@example.com April 11, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: May 13, 2012 10:31AM
YORKVILLE — Aldermen have approved a fiscal year 2013 city budget that includes a fund balance, gives staff a raise and cuts city property taxes.
While the budget puts off some big financial decisions to future years, the six aldermen who supported it and Mayor Gary Golinski said it was a step in the right direction.
“I know one thing, it’s the best budget we’ve had in four years,” Golinski said.
The budget, which begins in May, will be about $22.8 million, with about $11.5 million for the general operating fund.
The numbers will be adjusted slightly because aldermen included in their approval this week an additional $150,000 to give city workers an across-the-board 2 percent raise. It’s the first raise for city employees in four years.
Despite including the money for the one-time raises, the budget still will have a surplus of some kind, which officials are trying to build for future budgets. Golinski said he had wanted a fund balance of about 15 percent of expenses, although it likely will be less than 12 percent.
Alderman George Gilson, who with Alderman Rose Spears voted against the budget, said the city should have done more to address some of its future expenses.
In particular, he suggested the city cut into the surplus to pay for a sewer bond payment coming up in two years. City officials have suggested the possibility of an $8.25-a-month fee on all water and sewer bills as a way of making that payment.
“I think the majority of residents are going to object to the added fee,” Gilson said.
Golinski said the city still has a year to discuss the sewer fee, and that approving the budget did not commit the council to the fee in the future.
“I don’t think any of us sitting here wants a sewer fee,” he said.
The city’s share of property taxes will be cut about 30 percent because of the abatement of some water bond payments. City residents approved a 1 percent increase in the city sales tax to cover the water bond payments.