Budget, local news, Park Forest

Village Board to Present FY 2024/2025 Budget to the Public


Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—The Village Board will discuss the proposed fiscal year 2024/2025 budget during the Village Board meeting on June 10. This marks the official presentation of the proposed budget to the citizens and business owners of Park Forest.

According to the agenda for Monday’s meeting, the board will convene at 6 PM for an Executive Session, “As permitted by the Open Meetings Act by 5 ILCS 120/2 Section 2(c) to discuss (1) Personnel, discipline and (2) Collective bargaining.”

PUBLIC HEARING: FY 2024-2025 BUDGET

The meeting will start with a public hearing on the budget. During the public hearing, the mayor will invite the public to comment on the proposed budget. We summarize the major points of the budget below. However, we invite the public to review the draft budget here before the public hearing:

Unlike the budgets of virtually every other town in Illinois and most school districts, the Park Forest budget is a thorough and complete document. It outlines expected revenues and expenses and provides a detailed explanation of each department and the rationale behind the budget process.

Review the draft budget and come to the meeting prepared to speak. While the Executive Session begins at 6 PM, we expect the open meeting will convene at 7 PM as usual.

Summary of 2024-2025 Draft Budget

The ordinance, titled “AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING THE BUDGET FOR ALL CORPORATE PURPOSES OF THE VILLAGE OF PARK FOREST, COOK AND WILL COUNTIES, ILLINOIS, IN LIEU OF THE APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING ON THE FIRST DAY OF JULY, 2024 AND ENDING ON THE THIRTIETH DAY OF JUNE, 2025,” is the first item on the agenda.

Background

The draft budget for FY 2024/2025 was distributed to the Village Board on May 6, 2024. The same day, a public announcement was made during the Rules Meeting, indicating that a budget summary was available on the Village’s website, at the Library, and in the Village Clerk’s office. The Board reviewed the budget on May 7, May 13, and May 14, and a public hearing is scheduled for June 10.

Budget Process

The budget process in Park Forest is continuous and involves several stages throughout the fiscal year, including:

  • Fall Financial Update
  • Public Hearing on Proposed Tax Levy
  • Capital Plan
  • Six Month Review
  • Budget Preparation by Departments
  • Budget Review by the Board (three sessions)
  • Public Hearing
  • Budget Adoption

The budget serves multiple purposes beyond financial planning; it outlines the community’s goals and objectives, provides program funding, and controls expenditures. The Village’s budget document is designed to meet the standards required for the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

Major Financial Challenges

The FY 2024/2025 budget addresses several significant financial challenges:

  1. Identifying and Assessing Services: The Village plans to review core and non-core services using the triple bottom line approach (social, environmental, financial), which may lead to modifications in service delivery or fee structures.
  2. Controlling Major Expenditures: Key expenditure categories such as salaries, health insurance, pension funds, and costs associated with SouthCom will be closely managed.
  3. Regional Leadership: The Village aims to maintain its leadership role by continuing involvement in various associations and initiatives.
  4. Infrastructure and Maintenance: Projects include traffic signal improvements at Rt. 30 and Indiana St., Central Park improvements, water system upgrades, and road resurfacing projects.
  5. New Initiatives: The budget includes continued efforts in housing initiatives, crime-free housing programs, and sustainability initiatives.

Budget Highlights

The FY 2024/2025 budget, balanced with an unassigned General Fund fund balance, addresses significant infrastructure projects and financial challenges. Some key allocations include:

  • Downtown Park Forest: $1,576,437
  • Cook County CDBG: $200,000
  • Capital Projects: $1,866,941
  • Police and Firefighter Pension Funds: $3,498,146 and $2,085,982 respectively
  • Vehicle Services: $1,295,221
  • Housing Authority: $3,545,552
  • Public Library: $1,944,562

Schedule and Adoption

The board will discuss the budget ordinance during the public hearing and the first reading at the Village Board meeting on June 10. The final adoption will be on June 17, 2024.

Strategic planning goals set by the Board in early 2022 drove the development of the FY 2024/2025 budget. These goals will guide annual budgets through FY 2028/2029. The budget includes a $500,000 transfer from the TIF Fund to the Capital Projects Fund. This reimburses the Village for previous expenses.

The meeting on June 10 will allow residents to discuss and understand the budget that will guide the Village’s financial and operational decisions for the upcoming fiscal year.

budget cloud, 2024 budget, 2025 budget

Note: OpenAI edited or wrote the rough outline for this article. It began with the budget memorandum on the June 10, 2024 meeting agenda. Journalists of the Local News Alliance, a nascent organization of five local online publishers, and I decided to experiment with this technology. We wish to learn its possibilities and limitations. We agreed to acknowledge the use of this tech when we use it


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