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updated: 11/19/2013 5:50 PM

Huntley village board votes no on tax levy hike

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The Huntley village board recently agreed not to increase the village's property tax levy from the previous year, after considering a slight increase to cover the cost of rising police pension fund contributions.

The village has levied $3.8 million each year since 2011. The board directed staff to keep the levy at the same amount for 2013, said Lisa Armour, Huntley assistant village manager.

The 2013 levy is for taxes payable in 2014. Revenues are allocated for general fund operations, the police pension fund, liability insurance and cemetery operations.

During recent budget workshops, the village board reviewed proposed capital expenditures for 2014, including the possible allocation of funds for bus transportation for seniors and the disabled living in Grafton Township. Board members agreed not to commit $10,000, as the village has in years past, until Grafton and Rutland townships resolve the dispute over funding for bus service. Grafton Township had been driving seniors and disabled residents living in Rutland's portion of Sun City senior living community at no cost to Rutland since 2007. Grafton is pulling the plug on the service to Rutland after Nov. 30 -- which affects about 130 people -- unless Rutland agrees to help with funding.

Other proposed expenditures in 2014 include allocating $300,000 for renovating the Hackett House, a two-story former hotel from the early 1900s. Some board members have questioned whether it's worth fixing the structural deficiencies with the downtown property. The village bought the former hotel, at Route 47 and Main Street, earlier this year as part of its downtown revitalization effort.

Officials also are considering increasing funding to $100,000 for the removal and replacement of emerald ash borer infested trees. The money would help replace all 426 infested trees through a partnership with residents.

The proposed 2014 budget also will include $142,000 for three replacement police squad cars. A final budget document has not been presented to the board.

The village board is expected to vote on the tax levy certificate, which will be filed with the McHenry and Kane County clerks' offices, and approve a balanced budget for the 2014 calendar year Dec. 12, Armour said.

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