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Village of Lemont releases proposed budget, to implement electronic ticketing system

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:11 p.m. CST

LEMONT – The Lemont Village Board discussed a draft of the annual operating budget and capital plan for Fiscal 2015 during its Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.

Lemont Village Administrator George Schafer said the proposed budget would be a 2 percent decrease from last year's budget.

According to the meeting agenda, the total revenue for Fiscal 2015 is expected to be $23,023,286, with expenditures at $22,087,197.

The budget would leave a general fund balance of approximately 27 percent of general fund expenditures.

Schafer said it was a challenge to come up with a balanced budget that would maintain village services.

"Although we're starting to see some improvements in our revenues, we're still challenged with inflation increases of overall cost," he said.

In order to keep a balanced budget while paying for capital investment projects, the village made cuts from requests for capital equipment and additional staffing.

Schafer said the budget does not include cuts to the current levels of programs, special events, staff and economic development initiatives.

"We're challenged with our existing revenues, but overall I think it's a very good budget," he said.

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget during the March 24 meeting and vote on it April 14.

Other items discussed during the meeting include:

• The Lemont Police Department will implement an electronic ticketing system as part of a Cook County initiative of electronic ticket filing. Lemont Police Chief Kevin Shaughnessy said Lemont will be one of a few Cook County towns testing the new system, which is already being used by DuPage and Will counties. Shaughnessy said the new system would allow officers to input information on tickets and traffic crash reports, which would immediately be filed to a local courthouse and printed out for the person being issued the ticket. He said the new system will save time for officers and allow them to focus more on patrols. Shaughnessy said he expects the system to be active by the end of the year.

• The board reviewed a new waste hauling and recycling contract with Waste Management that it will vote on April 14. Schafer said the eight-year contract would see increased services and fee reductions for village residents. Residents will see a 13 percent decrease in monthly fees during the first year and seniors will see an 18 percent decrease, he said. Increased services include an optional free recycling cart size upgrade and an additional week of the take-all landscaping program.

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