LA GRANGE – The Village Board approved its operating budget for 2013-14 by a vote of 5-2 at a public hearing and board meeting April 8, with trustees Michael Horvath and Jim Palermo voting against the budget.
The budget projects about $31.5 million in revenues and $34.1 million in expenditures.
The board dipped into the village’s General Fund reserves to cover the construction of a relief sewer under Maple Avenue from Bluff Avenue to Sixth Avenue.
The $2.8 million project will increase the capacity of the sewer system and reduce flooding in the central portion of the village. It leaves the reserves fund at about 47.7 percent of operating expenses. The board’s goal is to maintain reserves at 50 percent of operating expenses, but trustees agreed the benefit of the relief sewer to residents outweighed the cost. The level of funds in the reserves can affect the village’s bond ratings.
The board also approved a nearly $110,000 project to replace the roof of Village Hall. Over the past few years, leaks have been discovered in the 30-year-old asphalt shingle roof. Construction on the project will begin in late April and will involve a scaffolding around the perimeter of the building.
As part of the new budget, residents will pay an additional $5 a month for commuter and residential parking permits. The parking changes, which are part of a scheduled increase, also include an increase in the cost of parking fines from $30 to $35.
Increases in the village’s water and sewer tax will cost homeowners an estimated $65 a year. The board approved a 6 percent increase in the village’s water rate, 1.5 percent less than the increase previously recommended to offset the costs of obtaining from the city of Chicago. Chicago increased water rates by as much as 25 percent a year starting in 2012. The change will cost homeowners an estimated $50 a year. A 10 percent increase in the village’s sewer tax is estimated to cost residents $15 more annually.
The budget includes $5.9 million in capital expenditures. In addition to the sewer project and roof replacement, it includes street resurfacing, renovation to the Stone Avenue Station, pedestrian safety improvements and replacement of the plaza fountain, along with other projects.