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posted: 7/15/2013 3:36 PM

Wauconda board to consider $15.4 million budget; Bart still wants to reduce spending

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  • Frank Bart

      Frank Bart

 
 

Wauconda officials anticipate spending $15.4 million during the next year, but Mayor Frank Bart on Monday said he hopes to reduce expenses by $1 million.

Trustees are expected to vote Tuesday on the budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which began May 1 and runs through April 30, 2014.

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The proposed budget, which Village Administrator Zaida Torres said took six months to develop, calls for spending to grow about $1.4 million from the previous budget, an increase of about 10 percent.

Revenue is expected to increase about 10 percent, up to a projected $14.4 million.

Torres attributed the increasing revenue to the funding needed to bring Lake Michigan water to the village in 2016. Voters approved a tax increase for the $50 million effort last year, and officials borrowed nearly $10 million earlier this year to start the project.

Additionally, water and sewer funding should increase, as should general funds, she said.

As for the projected spending increase, Torres again cited the Lake Michigan water project as a factor. Although construction still is a while off, engineering and legal work will result in bills to the village, Trustee John Barbini said.

Expenses for capital projects, software upgrades and personnel costs also contributed, Torres said.

Bart wants to cut some of that spending as the year progresses.

"We intend to budget the money but spend $1 million less," Bart said in an email to the Daily Herald. "I (am) working very closely with my staff and the board to ensure we do not spend more than our revenue for this budget year."

He didn't specify what budget areas are being targeted, if any.

Bart was elected in April and took office in May, and fiscal issues were among his top campaign concerns. This is his first budget as mayor.

He was widely criticized by the community this spring for forcing police Chief Douglas Larsson out of the department as a cost-savings move.

Larsson will step down Sept. 1. Bart has recommended he be replaced by Sgt. Patrick Yost, but the village board hasn't voted on that yet.

Tuesday's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at village hall, 101 N. Main St.

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