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Buffalo Grove Outlines 2012 Budget

Village officials say they are pleased with proposed balanced budget.

Buffalo Grove officials reviewed Monday what was described as a balanced “maintenance budget” for 2012.

The proposed budget, which includes $59.1 million in revenue and $58.3 million in expenditures, outlines the needs of each village department. More than half of the budget covers salaries and benefits, including a 2 percent salary increase for all employees, with the possibility of another 1 percent mid-year merit increase.

The village will in early 2012 in a continued effort to reduce expenses. The budget does not take the potential cost reduction into account.

Village Manager Dane Bragg said the village’s staff is the smallest it has been in about 15 years.

“We are very lean. We’re doing a lot of tasks with few people,” he said.

Also included in the budget is $2 million for street resurfacing, sidewalk repair and bike path maintenance; $275,000 to complete the Arlington Heights Road water main replacement and $234,054 to complete an engineering study for the proposed improvements on Weiland/Lake-Cook roads.

The budget does not include any fee or tax increases. The Village Board will review the village’s water rates in the coming months, as well as consider implementation of a program.

“It is only a planning document,” Village President Jeff Braiman said. “The fact that there are funds in a certain area doesn’t mean we have to spend them.”

The village’s general fund is projected to have a $155,036 surplus at the end of 2012, bringing the village’s fund balance to nearly $10.5 million, or 35 percent of its budget. The village’s fund balance goal is 25 percent, enough to cover three months of operating expenses.

Trustees praised the staff’s work on the budget, which department heads delivered as a 306-page document containing charts, graphs and narratives about each area, ranging from the police department to the Metra parking lot fund. (See attached PDF.)

“This is the best budget I’ve ever seen or read,” Trustee Beverly Sussman said. “I truly believe this is the Academy Award of budgets.”

The 2012 budget will also be adopted by resolution during the Dec. 5 Village Board meeting, with a public hearing and final approval scheduled for Dec. 19.

In related financial news, the village’s 2011 tax levy is expected to hold nearly steady, with about $13.3 million proposed. The amount is about 1.3 percent above than the village’s 2010 extension.

Buffalo Grove receives 24 percent of its revenue from property taxes, with the bulk of the remainder coming from other taxes, services charges and investments.

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