Schaumburg faring better than projected halfway through pandemic-plagued budget year

  • While restaurants and hotels like the Renaissance have been hard hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the village of Schaumburg's finances are doing better than originally projected at the halfway point of its budget year.

    While restaurants and hotels like the Renaissance have been hard hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the village of Schaumburg's finances are doing better than originally projected at the halfway point of its budget year. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 11/16/2020 4:46 PM

Halfway through its pandemic-plagued budget year, the village of Schaumburg so far is faring better than the depths of revenue loss that were projected in April.

While food and beverage, home rule sales, and hotel/motel taxes have taken a severe hit, other revenue sources such as income, motor fuel and state use taxes have been doing better than expected, Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson said.

 

Revenues across all funds are down 6.6% from what originally was budgeted for the year beginning May 1, while those in the general fund -- which covers most essential services -- are down 5.7%.

But the most recent monthly tweak of the budget resulted in a net increase of $357,919 from what was forecast in October.

"I would say we're managing responsibly for it," Hewson said. "We'll have to wait and see what this winter brings."

A hiring freeze for most vacant positions and a six-month furlough of eight full-time and 18 part-time employees at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts are among the ways the village has been compensating for revenue losses.

The village's efforts appear to have been rewarded by its retention of the highest attainable bond rating in the midst of the pandemic.

However, officials are moving toward filling six vacant firefighter positions and eight vacant police officer positions. These are considered Schaumburg's most critical services and the village board has demonstrated no interest in cutting them, Hewson said.

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Refilling the positions will cut the village's overtime costs, she said.

"I'd say it's cost-responsible," Hewson said.

Schaumburg officials have remained in close contact with the management of the village-owned Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.

While a temporary closure of the facility has been deemed unnecessary, approximately 133 of its 343 employees will be cut while others remain furloughed until the return of a more normal level of business activity.

Hewson said she couldn't immediately comment on whether the number of layoffs is typical throughout the industry because not every hotel includes a convention center. Renaissance Hotel officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

Back in April, the village staff spent weeks quickly reworking months of preparation on the 2020-21 budget because of the pandemic with relatively little data on how much and for how long it would affect the economy.

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