Local News

Homewood approves revised budget that turns deficit into surplus 

The Homewood budget for the next fiscal year that was approved Tuesday, includes changes made to a first draft that turned a deficit into a $75,000 surplus despite lowered revenues after the COVID-19 shutdown.

A draft budget presented to the board at its April 13 meeting by Finance Director Dennis Bubenik and Assistant Finance Director Amy Zukowski had a $172,604 deficit. The presentation did include potential spending cuts and revenue sources to close the gap, though.

Trustees asked financial staff to include both cuts and to generate more revenue in the final draft.

Changes include:

  • Increasing ambulance fees to $100 and adding a new fee for non-transport calls.
  • Eliminating the Think Homewood marketing campaign.
  • Cutting a planner position.
  • Reducing a business incentive program.
  • Canceling a boardroom upgrade.
  • Postponing the replacement of a water heater at village hall.
  • Cutting some legal services and the manager’s office assistant’s health insurance. 

The moves create a total surplus of $75,516. The total operating budget is $34,213,897 and the capital budget is $9,607,217.

A year ago, Homewood lowered projections for revenue from sales tax, for places for eating tax and income tax because of the economic issues expected from the pandemic. Those projections look like they were more pessimistic than necessary, Bubenik said.

“I’d like to compliment Mr. Bubenik and his staff and (Village Manager Jim) Marino. When we last talked about this we had a deficit and now we have a $75,000 surplus, primarily through cost reduction,” Mayor Richard Hofeld said.

The village aims for three months of fund balance on hand. The last fiscal year cut into that balance, setting that number at 2.7 months, according to village documents. Bubenik said the 2021-22 budget surplus sets that number at 2.725 months. 

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