Area taxpayers would see higher than normal tax increases for the second year in a row under a plan going to the Village Board this month.
The proposed budget, put together by village staff with feedback from trustees at three budget meetings over the past month, adds a patrol officer, a division chief position for the Oregon Area Fire/EMS District and a senior center administrative assistant, a part-time library staffer and adds hours for a police secretary. The budget is also set to include a 3% cost of living adjustment for non-union employees.
That comes with a tax increase of about $90 on the average home, valued at $305,010, or a 6% jump.
The Village Board plans to review and adopt the budget after public hearing at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, , at Village Hall, 117 Spring St.
In September, Gracz told the Observer all the requested positions were important to help Oregon become the modern community it should be. He and Novinska said they were working on ways to squeeze all the positions into this budget cycle.
One option was hiring positions in the middle of the year rather than the beginning of the year, and that’s the case with the police hiring, at a cost of $45,000 this year. That sets up what’s know as a structural deficit, which means the 2021 budget will have an increase associated with it.
The division chief is a March 1 hiring, meaning part of its cost will be attached to the 2021 budget. The village pays 64 percent of the costs of the district.
Other reasons for the tax increase in 2020 beyond additional staffing, include health insurance premium increases and debt service increases, among other things, according to an overview of the budget, put together by village administrator Mike Gracz and finance director Lisa Novinska and presented at a Village Board meeting.
The 2020 budget is also being put together in context of plans to take out millions of dollars in debt over the next few years for a new library and senior center and expected staff additions for both.
The proposed budget uses much of the remaining fire impact fees to offset the increased debt service of $87,000, with a note in the overview presented to the board that 2021 budget might be the last year the village will use fire impact fees.
Other notable expenditures include $1.5 million to rebuild the intersection of Park and Janesville streets, $690,000 for road maintenance, about $200,000 for assorted public works vehicle equipment, $100,000 for a new phone system, $53,000 for a police department squad car and $375,000 for fixing the Rotary Bike Trail.
The proposed budget would not qualify for next year’s state expenditure restraint, which would mean a loss of around $30,000 for the 2021 budget. The state expenditure restraint program is voluntary but helps municipalities that limit spending to a specified amount based on a formula.