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updated: 11/20/2012 11:14 PM

Rolling Meadows discusses bringing bands back to parade

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Is Rolling Meadows' financial shape good enough to reinstate marching bands for the next Fourth of July parade? Fifth Ward Alderman Rob Banger hopes so.

He proposed Tuesday night that $12,000 to fund the parade be found in the city's $57 million proposed budget.

"It was a sad day in Rolling Meadows when we zeroed out our parade funds," Banger said. "How much would it be to put that back in the budget?"

Fourth Ward Alderman Brad Judd, known for fiscal conservatism, said he thought the 2012 parade was "very, very good this year with zero funding," and got along fine without city vehicles like police cars and fire trucks, so the city should see if that works a second year.

Residents did enjoy the parade, said Mayor Tom Rooney, but "they also said parades without marching bands left a bit of a hole."

The vote during the informal budget discussion was very close, and Rooney suggested Banger bring the issue up again at a regular city council meeting.

The Rolling Meadows Community Events Foundation, started in the spring and designed to fund events like the parade as well as the city's historical museum, has raised only $11,000 so far, said City Manager Barry Krumstok. Officials hope eventually donations will total $38,000 to $50,000 annually.

This year the city will ask for a 3.8 percent increase in property taxes, compared with 11.8 percent last year. Most of the increase will fund pensions, Rooney said.

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