Fearing effect of COVID-19 on revenue, Island Lake adopts leaner budget -- and more cuts to come

  • Island Lake officials have canceled an Independence Day parade and other summer events, but a fireworks show will go on as planned.

      Island Lake officials have canceled an Independence Day parade and other summer events, but a fireworks show will go on as planned. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
 
Updated 6/12/2020 2:13 PM

Island Lake officials have adopted a budget for the new fiscal year that's significantly leaner than the previous year's spending plan.

And village treasurer Ed McGinty warned that more cuts will be needed because of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis -- a complete picture of which has yet to be painted.

 

"This budget really will have to be reevaluated after we figure out what our reductions in revenue are going to be," McGinty said before the village board approved the spending plan Thursday night.

The balanced budget predicts the village will have $7.2 million in spending and revenue during the 2021 fiscal year, which began May 1.

The plan is nearly 9% smaller than the 2020 fiscal year's $7.9 million budget, which itself was down dramatically from the 2019 fiscal year's $8.9 million budget.

The police department is the village department receiving the most cash, with nearly $2.3 million headed its way. That's nearly 32% of the entire budget.

Projected police spending includes nearly $1.4 million for full-time officers' salaries, $55,000 for part-time officers' salaries and $55,000 for officers' overtime.

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The estimate for full-time officer's salaries is up about 5% from last year because of new hires and contracted pay raises, Chief Dan Palmer said. The estimate for part-time officers' salaries is about double the 2019 estimate.

In contrast, overtime is projected to decrease about 74% from last year's budget because more police will be on the street, Palmer said.

Elsewhere, the budget sets aside more than $176,000 for salaries of full-time administrative employees at village hall, $50,000 for a water-softening project at the local water plant and $69,500 for management of the town's namesake lake.

Nearly $50,000 of that last sum is to pay for weed-control spraying in the water, a purchase the board approved Thursday night after some debate about procedures for contracts.

Talking to Mayor Charles Amrich and the trustees before the vote, McGinty emphasized that the budget will need to be cut in the months to come because the pandemic is significantly hurting revenue from sales tax, gasoline tax and other sources.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The financial crunch is hitting Island Lake already. Payments of tax revenue from the state have been lower than anticipated, Amrich said.

Layoffs at village hall may be necessary, he said.

"We're taking this very seriously," Amrich said.

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