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Bond timing, planned fund balance use leaves Flossmoor with $3 million FY22 deficit on paper

Flossmoor’s budget for Fiscal Year 2022 is projecting what appears on paper as a total deficit of $3.08 million, but it is largely attributable to 2021 streets and storm sewer projects being funded by the proceeds of a $10 million bond sale that took place at the end of FY21.

The Flossmoor Village Board voted unanimously Monday, April 19, to approve the budget, which calls for $29.02 million in total expenditures from May 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022, compared to $25.96 million in expected revenues.

The general fund accounts for $12.98 million in expenditures, $932,026 more than the $12.05 million projected in revenues. Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said that $408,713 of that is an operating deficit that was planned and is to be covered by a fund balance, including “set-asides” in the Finance and Facilities Plan.

“The operating deficit is largely attributable to $287,331 in carryovers from Fiscal Year ’21,” Wachtel said, noting that figure includes $150,000 in street resurfacing and $47,331 in sidewalk replacement.

The deficit also includes water supply improvements, one-time operating expenses, and non-union wage adjustments and step adjustments, according to a report she filed with the board.

The 2021 streets and storm sewer projects account for another $3.38 million in expenses, almost entirely listed as a deficit when compared to $22,000 in revenues. But those projects are being completed with money from a bond sale that took place this spring and therefore counted as revenue toward the FY21 budget, despite the expenditures coming on the subsequent year, according to Wachtel.

But Wachtel said the board and administrators will need to keep an eye on a threatened pullback of state shared revenues, decreasing flat revenues dependent upon the economy, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pensions and unfunded mandates.

“We continue to have financial concerns moving forward,” Wachtel said.

She also said the village continues to have concerns about figuring out how to pay for new water meters, but their focus at the moment remains transitioning to purchasing Hammond water through Chicago Heights before December 2022 to replace the existing Chicago water-via-Harvey arrangement.

Mayor Paul Braun noted that while there is work to be done down the road and he hopes the new board sticks with Flossmoor’s “save, then spend” philosophy, he is happy with this year’s budget and the work that went into it.

“This is a strong budget,” he said. “The village is in very good financial stability at the moment.” 

No one from the public made comments during a public hearing held just before the approval, and Village Board discussion was minimal following lengthy discussions on specific funds at the prior three meetings.

The Village Board also voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the payment of wages and salaries for FY22, which simply authorizes the treasurer to pay the wages addressed in the budget.

Other Business

  • The Village Board approved a contract with Paramedic Services of Illinois Inc. for six contract firefighters/paramedics for Fiscal Year 2022 at a cost of $507,600 following a request for proposal that went out in March. PSI was the lowest of three bidders. Under an existing contract that ends April 30, the village has been paying $559,073 for six firefighter/paramedics. The new contract would be effective May 1.
  • The Village Board approved a water rate increase of 7 cents per 1,000 gallons as a “pass through” to residents of cost increases from Harvey and Chicago. The change increases the water rate to $11.48 per 1,000 gallons.

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