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Flossmoor reviews planned capital equipment expenses ahead of FY24 budget approval

The latest stop on Flossmoor’s road to fiscal year 2024 budget approval: capital equipment.

Village Manager Bridget Wachtel presented Monday, March 20, to the village board about Flossmoor’s planned capital equipment expenditures. The village’s fiscal year runs from May 1, 2023, to April 30, 2024.

The village’s capital equipment fund receives an annual contribution from the general fund as well as the water and sewer fund to cover long-term equipment needs under a “save then spend” philosophy, according to Wachtel’s report.

“A lot of communities have to go out for short-term debt to be able to purchase a fire engine,” Wachtel explained. “The Village of Flossmoor is very fortunate that, with this planning tool in place, we’re able to replace our equipment over time with cash on hand.”

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Supply chain strains and inflation have contributed to what marked “all-time high” contributions from both of the aforementioned funds on first pass for FY24, Wachtel said, based on Flossmoor’s 10-year replacement schedule for existing equipment. But staff reviewed all items to determine what actually needs to be on the FY24 budget. No replacement is automatic, Wachtel explained.

“Every year, our staff takes a look at what is due for replacement,” she said. “They take a look at the schedule, evaluate the equipment to determine whether there is another year or extension of life, whether we need to update budgetary figures or update the lifespan of equipment. … This year, we went through that process several times.”

For FY24, the village is looking to replace a five-yard dump truck with plow, a utility vehicle deferred in FY23 and a tractor/compact loader for public works, according to Wachtel’s report.

Two police squad cars are also slated to be replaced in FY24. A closed-circuit television system replacement, pistol range equipment backstop replacement and new patrol rifles are also on the docket for the police department in FY24.

A fire ambulance is also slated for replacement, Wachtel said. Nine fire department bay doors are on the schedule to be replaced over a few years, possibly to be funded across FY24 and FY25, Wachtel explained.

FY24 is a “big replacement year” for technology, with a full upgrade of network infrastructure, computers, laptops and mobile data terminals on the schedule. Copiers, printers and an envelope stuffer are also on the schedule, according to Wachtel.

The Vollmer Reservoir roof is slated for replacement in FY24. And the Public Works Service Center parking lot is to be resurfaced and striped.

A three-quarter-ton pickup with plow, water leak step van, drive-on trailer, Butterfield Lift Station generator and a tractor/backhoe/loader that were scheduled for FY24 will be deferred after review, Wachtel wrote.

“What we’ve seen over time is that with equipment being stored in our public works service center, as opposed to being kept outside as it was years ago, we’re seeing an extended life of that equipment,” Wachtel said.

This marked the second of several planned discussions related to the FY24 budget, prior to its approval. The capital expenditures plan was presented for discussion only, as the items within it would be approved under the FY24 budget, which is expected for a vote in April.

Several trustees had questions about various elements of the proposal but did not request that any of the items be changed in the plan, with several vocalizing their support for the plan and the work that went into it.

“We feel this is a prudent plan,” Wachtel said. “It allows us to replace the equipment that we need next fiscal year. It plans for the next several years.”

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