City Council prepares to approve budget in the black

2013-07-30T23:30:00Z 2013-07-30T23:35:12Z City Council prepares to approve budget in the blackGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 30, 2013 11:30 pm  • 

CALUMET CITY | The City Council, meeting Tuesday as a finance committee, spent one last session reviewing a proposed budget for the current fiscal year.

The Tuesday night session gave aldermen a last chance to review an appropriations ordinance that likely will be approved during a special City Council meeting tonight. Under Illinois law, today is the deadline to approve such an ordinance.

During five committee hearings in late June and July, aldermen have made various changes in the funds allotted for various city agencies and programs.

Among final changes reviewed Tuesday was the inclusion of $2,500 from the city to the Calumet City Thunderbolts youth football program. The line item is new to the city budget, although in past years the city has provided an equal amount of funding to the Calumet City Chargers youth football program – and will continue to do so for the current fiscal year.

The addition comes one day after aldermen voted to double the funds the city provides to support the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion chapters in Calumet City, while also maintaining funding at $5,000 each for city-sponsored events meant to pay tribute to African-American, Latino and Polish ethnic cultures.

Their end result was a spending plan consisting of $35.86 million in revenues, and $33.77 million in expenditures — resulting in roughly a $2.1 million surplus for the fiscal year that began May 1. Of the total, some $29.98 million is from city-collected taxes and fees.

“We’re going to end up substantially in the black,” city Finance Director John Kasperek said Tuesday.

City officials have said the one uncertain factor in preparing an appropriations ordinance for the year is the loss in sales tax revenues from the Sears and Carson, Pirie, Scott stores in River Oaks shopping center that have closed in recent months. The actual effect on sales tax receipts will not be known for several months.

Kasperek said this is the third straight year municipal government expects to have a surplus — as opposed to 2009 and 2010 when city officials were forced to make some serious personnel and program cuts in order to balance the budget.

For this year, Kasperek said, “we’re not operating in the red.”

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