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Flossmoor faces budget challenges as expenditures exceed allocations

As the Village of Flossmoor completes its fiscal year 2023 and prepares for the annual audit, officials discovered several vital funds have exceeded their budgeted amounts.

As part of the fiscal year closing on April 30 and audit preparation, Finance Director Scott Bordui explained that expenditures in four funds had exceeded their allocated budgets and requested a budget amendment. The Storm Sewer Fund, Public Art Program Fund, Municipal Parking Lots Fund, and Fire Pension Fund have collectively overspent, resulting in an overall deficit of $95,000.

Parkway tree services, particularly for the expansive Heather Hill neighborhood, emerged as the primary contributor to the financial strain, surpassing the budget allocation by $49,370. The need for comprehensive tree care and maintenance throughout the village incurred unforeseen expenses, adding to the mounting deficit, Bordui said.

Street sweeping operations under the Storm Sewer Fund exceeded the allotted budget, putting the fund in the red by (resulting in an additional overspend of) $11,170. The upkeep and maintenance of the storm sewer system, a crucial infrastructure component, required more extensive sweeping efforts due to heightened debris accumulation after large-scale events such as the Hidden Gem Half Marathon and 60422 Zip Code Party, Bordui explained.

Moreover, the Storm Sewer Fund experienced overbudget expenses of $9,358 related to contract maintenance. According to Assistant Public Works Director Dan Milovanovic, unforeseen repairs and emergency work arose during the fiscal year, demanding urgent attention and resources beyond what was initially anticipated. However, according to Milovanovic’s remarks, the Public Works Department is utilizing project planning tools, diligently collecting data, and compiling contingency numbers to provide more accurate budget numbers in the coming year.

In the Municipal Parking Lots Fund, miscellaneous services overshot the budget by $4,476. The costs associated with purchasing additional decorative lights are to avoid long lead times in the future.

Similarly, the Municipal Parking Lots Fund recorded $3,782 over budget for maintenance and supplies. This adjustment is driven by the heightened demand for maintenance work in FY23.

The Rotational Sculpture Program incurred a deficit of $5,800. The amendment comes from various activities undertaken by the fund, including sculpture relocations, repairs, and adding rotational pieces to the sculpture program. While the original budget accounted for only one rotational piece, the fund expanded its efforts by including three more, leading to a shortfall of $1,836.

Village Manager Bridget Wachtel explained that the amendment would address the deficit and generate a surplus despite the budget disparity. This surplus will be directed to the funds-saving account designated for rotational pieces.

The village’s endeavor to enhance public spaces through art installations proved to be more financially demanding than initially projected. Trustee Rosalind Mustafa inquired about ways to accurately provide budget numbers and funding for the Flossmoor Public Art Commission. Chair Nancy Burrows explained that the commission is actively researching sustainable funding and is open to meeting with village officials to create a plan.

Finally, the Fire Pension Fund was  $11,400 over budget due to increased pension benefit payments for retired firefighters. According to Fire Chief Robert Kopec, this increase is due to the 3% annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that wasn’t added to the budget.

Each of the funds has measures in place when they are over budget.

“Each of those amendments is impacting different funds and each of those funds has a fund balance or savings to be able to draw down to make that amendment,” Wachtel said.

Village officials said they are actively exploring cost-saving measures, seeking alternative funding sources and reassessing budgetary planning to address the deficit.

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