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posted: 4/18/2013 7:21 PM

Sugar Grove approves budget

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The Sugar Grove village board adopted a budget this week that includes money for hiring a part-time administrative officer for the police department.

The budget passed despite criticism from President Sean Michels.

The board agreed that whether to hire someone for the job should be left up to the new police chief, which the board expects to hire in May.

"I think it is important we keep the sergeants involved in the paperwork," Michels said. "We can use the money elsewhere." The position could cost $31,200 annually, with no pension or other benefits offered.

The officer would perform some of the tasks that sergeants currently have to do, such as signing off on vehicle release forms. Trustee Kevin Geary noted that while he rode along with one of the three sergeants a few weeks ago, the sergeant was called back to the station twice for such duties.

The officer would also work on special projects, such as applying for department accreditation and grants, training, compiling mandated reports and managing records.

The budget reduced spending on an employee wellness program, from $350 to $100 per worker.

Overall, the budget calls for the village to receive $13.36 million, and spend $14.59 million. The village's surplus is $24.9 million. The fiscal year starts May 1.

The general fund, which accounts for most operating spending except that of the water and sewer operations, projects expenses of $4.58 million. About 32.7 percent of its revenue comes from property taxes.

The budget includes spending $60,000 on an outside salt storage shed.

And it sets aside $1,000 to spruce up the police department's locker room.

"I don't know that $1,000 is going to do a lot in there," quipped Geary, mentioning problems with the shower pan and the small size of the locker room. Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said the locker room can't be expanded unless the building is expanded, and Michels said the $1,000 is just a start, for cleaning, painting and tiling.

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