After months of discussion and public disagreements, Island Lake trustees have approved a balanced, $8.9 million annual budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
Municipal budgets normally are a perfunctory, rubber-stamp affair once they reach the boardroom, but that wasn't the case this year in Island Lake. Trustees differed, strenuously, on money earmarked to pay a full-time technology specialist and other issues.
The fiscal year began May 1 and runs through April 30, 2019.
Officials predict they'll collect about $8.9 million in property taxes, fees and other revenue over the course of the year. Expenses -- such as staff salaries, facility improvements, roadwork and other projects -- will nearly match that total.
A $22,914 budget surplus is predicted.
The village board approved the budget last week with a 4-3 vote.
Trustees Mark Beeson, Sandy Doehler and John Burke voted against the plan, while trustees Chuck Cermak, Howard England and Jennifer Villarreal voted for it. Mayor Charles Amrich cast the tiebreaking vote in favor of the plan.
All three trustees voting against the budget had objected to money being included to pay information technology specialist George Muligano. They've said the village should fire Muligano and outsource the work to a private firm as a cost-savings move.
"I do not approve of a (full-time) IT position for a village our size," Doehler said.
Not only is Muligano keeping his job, the budget includes money for a 2-percent pay bump. His annual salary will increase to $71,400.
Beeson said he objected to a proposed reduction in money set to be used to establish dog parks in town. The budget for that effort shrunk from $20,000 to $5,000, he said.
The spending plan has money for many other projects, including:
• Street resurfacing, which could cost $500,000.
• A new police station video surveillance system, which could cost $20,000.
• New windows at village hall and the adjoining Creative Playtime preschool, which could cost $15,000.
• Improvements and maintenance at Hyde Park and Dorothy Beach, which could cost $30,000.