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Local News

Brookfield working on 'tightest budget ever,' significant road repairs will be delayed

BROOKFIELD – How the village of Brookfield will spend its money on infrastructure projects and other capital expenses over the next five years was discussed at the Brookfield Board of Trustees meeting on Monday night.

Assistant Village manager Keith Sbiral said the tentative plan, which includes the 2014 budget that will be voted on by the board before the end of the year, freezes village hiring and keeps spending virtually flat, increasing it by 3 percent each year.

Village President Kit Ketchmark asked Sbiral if he and the heads of the village departments believed they could continue to operate comfortably considering all of the budget items they wanted, but would likely not be getting in next year’s plan. 

“I don’t know if they are all shaking their heads ‘no’ behind me so I’ll just go out on a limb without turning around,” Sbiral said. “This is without a doubt the tightest budget that we’ve ever put together.

“It’s tight. Can we afford it? Yes,” Sbiral added.

Sbiral said under the plan $300,000 is going into a restrictive reserve fund Sbiral described as a “lockbox” that the village would be able to utilize in the event of an event such as another economic meltdown or natural disaster.

Among the cost saving measures in the five year plan are slowing down the planned replacements of departmental vehicles. Sbiral said the plan includes holding off on the purchase of a new water pumping truck for the fire department until after 2018. 

Sbiral said the village will only be able to partially fund the repairs and replacements of cracked village roads. He said the plan allows for just over $1 million per year for repairs, well short of the $3 million annual cost assessors said was needed to address the problem.

The 2014 budget will be discussed further and voted upon by the trustees before the end of the year.

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