County pavement repair program to include work on Kedzie Avenue in Homewood

Homewood residents will have a chance to comment on the village’s proposed $18.7 million budget for 2015-2016 during a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14.

The hearing will precede the Board of Trustees regular meeting at Village Hall, 2020 Chestnut Road. 

Finance Director Dennis Bubenik will provide a budget overview during the hearing and members of the community and the board will have an opportunity to comment. Bubenik gave the board a budget presentation at its March 24 meeting.

The proposed budget is expected to continue the village’s goal of restoring reserves that were depleted as a result of the most recent recession. With an expected surplus this year of about$431,000 and a projected surplus in the proposed budget of about $461,000, the reserve fund could reach $4.6 million by the end of April 2016, according to Village Manager Jim Marino.

Village officials hope to reach $5 million in reserves by 2019. The goal is to have enough money on hand to cover three to six months operating expenses, according to Finance Director Dennis Bubenik.

To keep up with rising costs and rebuild the reserves, village officials propose several ways to increase revenue next year. One source will be additional sales tax income from a number of new businesses coming to town, especially the Portillo’s restaurant that is expected to open early in September. Another source will be fee increases for ambulance services.

Bubenik said the budget includes cost savings from a number of changes designed to increase efficiency. 

In other business, the board will consider:

  • The Halsted Corridor Landscape Plan, which will be presented to the board by a Planning Resources Inc. representative. The village contracted with Planning Resources last year to develop the plan to update landscaping along Halsted Street.
  • A new extension to the intergovernmental agreement with East Hazel Crest to develop property near the Halsted Street and Interstate 80/294 junction. The two villages hope to attract a casino to the site if the state legislature authorizes new casino licenses.
  • A settlement with former employee Shawn Washington regarding benefits under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act.
  • Appointments to the community relations commission, ethics commission, police pension board and storm water resources committee.
  • A resolution to honor Public Works Assistant Director Dave Ebert for 35 years of service to the village.

Related story:
Homewood budget likely spared from big hit, but fee hikes on the table (HF Chronicle, March 24, 2015)

Contact Eric Crump at [email protected]

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