MAHOMET — At their regular meeting May 28, the Mahomet Board of Trustees approved a 2019-20 appropriation ordinance that is retroactively effective to May 1. It ends April 30, 2020.
“The Village continues to take steps to increase revenues as we continue to face some long-term challenges including increases in health insurance cost, funding for additional staffing and pension plans, financial uncertainty in this state, preemption of municipal authority, unfunded mandates, and challenges as a non-home rule municipality,” Mahomet Administrator Patrick Brown states in the financial plan’s introduction.
The appropriations document is available at www.mahomet-il.gov.
Brown explained, “In the Village of Mahomet like many municipalities in the state, we operate under an appropriation ordinance and not a budget. $17,503,376 is the approved spending. However we supplement our appropriation ordinance with what we refer to as an Operating Budget.”
Documents presented to the village board and available on the village website note:
“An operating budget involves a thorough evaluation and review process in order to more accurately anticipate spending needs and appropriate for all expenditures the Village wants to make during the fiscal year. Our operating budget establishes more realistic spending limits we will operate under.
“The appropriation ordinance legally specifies the maximum amount which the village can spend, but our operating budget establishes a more detailed amount the board approves us to spend. Village departments follow the operating budget limits and not the larger limits set forth in the appropriation ordinance.”
Under the plan, water and wastewater public utilities are the highest estimated expense at more than $3.4 million, with the next-highest being tax increment financing at $2.29 million budgeted. Transportation is the third-highest cost at an estimated $2.29 million for the fiscal year.
The top three revenue sources are, from highest to lowest: property taxes, sales taxes and the sale of water plus sewer fees associated with that water use. Property tax revenue for 2020 is estimated to be about $2.32 million, while sales tax receipts are anticipated to be about $805,000.
The financial plan sets the direction for all village government programs and services for the next fiscal year, the document notes. The village board and staff work together to form the plan with an eye toward accomplishing village goals and responding to community needs.
Included in the operating budget are 61 items as part of the capital improvement plan for the 2019-20 fiscal year. These include major and minor capital projects, vehicle and capital equipment purchases, and total more than $3.6 million.
“Personnel expenditures are growing in relationship to wages, health insurance and pensions,” the document states.
Current staffing levels are set to remain the same other than adding a full-time person for the water and wastewater department to assist with utility location processes due to villagewide fiber installation. Officials then will determine if the position will be a permanent full-time spot or if it will be terminated.
A summer intern will be hired for the engineering department to assist with the Sunny Acres road project, according to budget documents.
The financial plan’s concluding statement is: “The 2019/2020 Village budget is prepared conservatively. The Village must position itself to better respond to fluctuations that will undoubtedly occur in the future. We will continue to monitor revenues and expenditures. The property tax extension letter is typically received April 4th.
“However, due to delays from the county government, the letter was received on May 14th. This has a potential to cause minor cash flow variations at the beginning of the year. However, due to fiscally conservative financial policies, the Village should see minimal impact or deviation from planned projects.”
Overall, the appropriation ordinance shows expenses higher than overall revenue. Brown said total projected revenue for fiscal year 2020 is about $14.1 million, and expenses are planned at $16.2 million.
“However, it is important to note that our various funds had starting fund balances that were higher than required in our financial policies due primarily to project carry over,” Brown said this week. “The carry over projects are planned to be expensed this fiscal year. Therefore the cash on hand from our starting fund balances plus our estimated revenue equals $26,666,415 versus the planned expenses of $16,269,177.
“On the expense side, we typically only expense about 75%-85% of the budgeted expenses,” he added.