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Homer Glen to address ash borer

Updated: May 11, 2014 10:03AM



The continuing menace of the emerald ash borer and a complete remodeling of the village hall building are among the items to be funded in Homer Glen’s proposed budget.

The village’s proposed overall spending totals $21.6 million and its overall revenue totals $14.5 million for a $7 million deficit. But Homer Glen Finance Director John Sawyers explained that many of the capital project funds had grown over time and this is time to begin spending.

He said the village’s operating fund, or general fund, is balanced at about $8 million.

The proposed increase in the general fund from the current fiscal year is $23,558.

“There are no new property taxes,” said Village Manager Cameron Davis during Tuesday’s village board meeting. “Our financial shape is certainly solid as a rock.”

He said the budget includes big infrastructure improvements.

One proposed project is spending $125,000 for the installation of more than 200 new parkway trees that had been destroyed by the emerald ash borer.

“There had been speculation that the emerald ash borer would be killed this winter because of the extreme cold,” said Trustee Margaret Sabo. “However, it is alive and well.”

She said the village’s arborist services are available to residents for trees on private property, not just on the parkway. The arborist would recommend what do with a sick tree even if it’s not related to the emerald ash borer. Officials had budgeted $500,000 for tree replacement, but Davis said 208 trees was a healthy beginning for the program’s first year.

Officials also plan to spend about $2.5 million to remodel the village hall. Davis said he came up with that amount to budget from looking at the costs of similar remodeling projects in neighboring towns.

In the general fund, state income tax revenue has steadily increased during the past few years and now accounts for 29 percent of the budget, or more than $3 million.

One increased expense in the general fund is $122,000 more for public safety services from the Will County Sheriff’s Department.

Public safety accounts for 49 percent, or more than $3.8 million, of the general fund budget. The complete proposed budget is available for residents to view at the Homer Township Public Library.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for April 22 at the village hall with a vote the same night.



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