Crete makes fund transfers to keep spending balanced

2014-04-17T00:00:00Z Crete makes fund transfers to keep spending balancedGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 17, 2014 12:00 am  • 

CRETE | The Village Board on Monday OK'd the transfer of about $100,000 to two separate funds impacting road repairs and police pensions to ensure those funds remain financially stable.

Without opposition to either measure, trustees voted to approve a $75,000 transfer from municipal government’s corporate fund that covers day-to-day expenses to the Road and Bridge fund.

Also, Village President Michael Einhorn said he wants the money the village began receiving last year from businesses that have video poker machines to be deposited into the Police Pension Fund. Based on income from 2013, that fund will produce about $25,000 per year, with deposits to be made monthly beginning May 1.

Einhorn said the harsh winter this year left the Road and Bridge fund depleted. As of Monday, it had only $3,580, yet the village’s fiscal year runs through April 30.

Without the transfer, there are parts of the village payroll that would not be met this month and street sweeping services would have to be shortchanged, Einhorn said.

“Mother Nature played a trick on us,” he said.

Village officials already are working toward the appropriations ordinance for the new fiscal year that begins May 1. The Village Board has until July 31 to approve the ordinance. Einhorn said the Road and Bridge fund would get a financial influx later this spring when village vehicle stickers go on sale.

The other transfer involves the money Crete began receiving last year from video gambling receipts. Einhorn said he considers it surplus money, and said using it to stabilize the Police Pension Fund is the most sensible thing to do.

Like many other government pension programs, it is underfunded although Einhorn said it is funded at about 78 percent, which he said is better than pension programs maintained by other governments.

Ideally, the pension program should be funded at about a 90 percent standard.  Einhorn said he is concerned with measures in place that would allow pension programs to halt funding from the Illinois comptroller’s office beginning in 2016 if the 90 percent standard is not met.

Village Attorney James Stevenson said most governments developed pension funding problems with the economic downtown of 2008. It caused losses in many of the financial investments that were relied upon to raise money to pay for the retirement benefits of past police officers, firefighters and other municipal workers.

Einhorn said he thinks the monthly influx of cash is one step that can help boost the percentage level for the Crete Police Pension Fund.

“It’s a simple way we can address this,” he said.

Until now, the video gambling money was being deposited directly into the village’s corporate fund, where it was mixed in with money used to cover general government expenses.

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