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updated: 4/21/2014 5:31 PM

Millions in road, water and sewer work in Libertyville budget

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As the dire scenarios of years past have faded, Libertyville officials are finding more wiggle room in annual spending plans.

The 2014-15 budget, expected to be approved Tuesday by the village board, calls for about $7 million -- 13 percent -- more in spending from the current year. Much of that is for capital projects, such as water, sewer and road work, and is covered mainly with funds borrowed last year through bond issues or with funds accumulated for specific projects.

The $59.3 million overall budget is more than 8 percent higher than the current version. The general fund, which is used to pay for day-to-day operations, is balanced with $25 million in revenues and $24.9 million in spending.

Revenues are rebounding slightly but there are no huge additions or reductions, said Pat Wesolowski, village finance director.

"It's a pretty status quo budget," she said. No layoffs are envisioned but the village remains in a hiring freeze, she added.

Highlights for 2014-15 include $4.8 million in improvements to the water and sewer systems and $6 million for road work.

The village also boosted funding for maintenance and improvements at village-owned buildings, including roof repairs at the Cook mansion and Adler Center.

"There were several years we kind of cut back on that maintenance because of budget issues," Wesolowski said.

Funds to fight the emerald ash borer are more than double for 2014-15, up from $130,000 budgeted this year to $290,000. Contractors will be hired to removed about 300 of the 500 ash trees.

As for revenues, the village in 2014-15 expects about $6.37 million in sales tax proceeds, 3 percent more than last year. That's up from what it would have been due to the February opening of Trader Joe's grocery store.

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