Board reviews Rockton's budget

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ROCKTON - Rockton's preliminary 2019-2020 budget anticipates a $542,714 deficit, but village officials aren't worried.

"We're always in a good place, because we always have a balanced budget," Village President Dale Adams said.

The Rockton Village Board of Trustees reviewed the preliminary budget with department heads on Wednesday during a special meeting, making some adjustments. Village officials will prepare a revised budget for the board to review likely during the regular meeting on Tuesday.

Adams views the preliminary budget as a wish list. He said the board can make cuts as needed, or village officials might find additional revenue that hasn't been identified yet.

The village's 2019-2020 fiscal year begins on June 1, so the board will have to approve the new budget before then.

Tricia Diduch, planning and development administrator, said the trustees are looking at building up a reserve fund to cover unforeseen expenses.

"They don't want to rush the conversation about the budget as they have in previous years," Diduch said. "They're trying to be as frugal as they can be for the long-term fiscal health of the community."

Adams agrees. He said the board has had tight budgets in the past, and he would like for this year's budget to have a greater cushion. This year, Adams said the board is taking a closer look at the budget while working closely with department heads.

The current anticipated revenues for 2019-2020 is $5,057,914, as opposed to the $5,792,879 revenue total for 2018-2019. Adams said the drop in revenue this year is due to the village not receiving the state and federal grants as well as loans it received during the last fiscal year.

The proposed operating expenses for the 2019-2020 annual budget is $5,689,728, which is down from the 2018-2019 annual expenses of $5,881,500. This leaves the anticipated cash on-hand at the end for the 2019-2020 fiscal year at a deficit of $542,714. The 2018-2019 anticipated cash on hand is $3,012.

The following departments have the proposed budgets:

• In terms of the police department's budget, the proposed amount for 2019-2020 is $1,763,961. This is up from the 2018-2019 total of $1,628,287.

• Proposed general administration expenses are down from the 2018-2019 annual budget total of $790,362 to $777,900 in 2019-2020.

• The proposed amount for streets and sidewalks is down from $789,260 in 2018-2019 to $673,710 in 2019-2020.

• The proposed amount for public parks is up from $397,263 in 2018-2019 to $408,535 in 2019-2020.

• The proposed amount for garbage and sanitation is up from $485,595 in 2018-2019 to $504,504 in 2019-2020.

• The proposed amount for buildings and grounds is down from $586,744 in 2018-2019 to $327,293 in 2019-2020.

• The proposed amount for the economic development department is up from $157,500 in 2018-2019 to $166,500 in 2019-2020.

• The swimming pool budget is slightly down from $94,100 in 2018-2019 to $93,850 in 2019-2020.

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