Heights passes budgets

Nick Stroman & Christina Smith

During the April 15 Peoria Heights Village Board meeting, board members approved the 2008-09 fiscal year operations, water works and library budgets as presented April 8 at a public hearing.

Village administrator Tom Horstmann said the operations budget reflects a $863,378 increase in total funds available, while expenditures increased by $624,378.

For April 20, 2009, cash on hand is estimated to be about $2.1 million, an increase of $238,958, Horstmann said.

Horstmann said the water works budget shows a total revenue of $1.5 million and about $996,808 for expenditures, with estimated cash on hand of $457,006.

Mayor Mark Allen said the village’s 2009 budget includes plans to address infrastructure issues, such as curbs, sidewalks, and water mains throughout the village, while moving into new ventures such as a village-wide recycling program.

Allen noted the village  received 170 questionnaires  for the proposed recycling program and responses continue to be positive. A recent phone survey indicated 87 percent of residents would support the initiative.

“That shows me we can move forward with the recycling plan, so we will work out some figures soon and budget for that,” Allen said.

Funding for a police dog and possibly a new officer for a K-9 unit, purchasing a four-wheel drive vehicle for weather emergencies and a  23 percent increase in the police pension fund are included in the Peoria Heights Police Department budget.

Allen said the village is in excellent financial shape at the moment with a general fund balance of $2.6 million.

Most of the increased revenue is because of administrative towing fees, added when a vehicle is towed, and a 13 percent increase in sales tax and a 26 percent increase in local use tax receipts, which translated into a 20 percent jump in revenues during a two-year period.

“It’s a pleasure being a village administrator when we’re in the black and continue to have increased revenues,” Horstmann said. “It’s giving us so much freedom to pursue all of these new projects.”

For more on this story see the 4/23 issue of the Peoria Times-Observer