Buffalo Grove looking at bigger budget for 2013
Updated: November 27, 2012 9:20PM
BUFFALO GROVE — If the Village Board approves next week the proposal they looked at on Monday, Buffalo Grove will operate in 2013 on a $61 million budget, a 3.1 percent increase from this year’s projected expenditures.
During a two-and-a-half-hour presentation at Village Hall, the leaders of each village department gave an overview of what they have done in 2012 and how much funding they will need come January.
Village Manager Dane Bragg said that he and each of the department heads worked to keep costs low, resulting in a reduction in operating expenses of more than $1 million through the past three years.
“We’ve done everything we can to keep the budget as tight as we can,” he told the board.
That includes leaving two sworn-officer positions in the Police Department unfilled, as well as four additional part-time positions. In the past three years, the village’s total staffing has dropped from 228 to 224 full-time, and from 97 to 92 part-time, Bragg reported. The staff size is at its lowest level in 15 years.
“We have fewer people doing more things than we’ve ever done,” Bragg said.
Village President Jeff Braiman challenged the staff to find more places to pinch — particularly in vehicle fleets. While specifying that he did not want to eliminate ladder trucks from the Fire Department, he hoped to see fire and police personnel operating fewer vehicles.
“Do we need as many vehicles on the street as we have?” he asked. “I’d like to see if we can save some dollars in reducing our fleet.”
Police Chief Steve Balinski said that, with his staff level dropping, reducing automobiles could be feasible.
The village will have considerable expenses to pay beginning in 2013, according to the proposed budget, including the cost to replace 7,000 ash trees being attacked by the emerald ash borer beetle.
Trustees will vote on the budget at their Dec. 3 meeting.
After the presentation, Trustee Jeff Berman said he was pleased with what he had seen.
“Now the challenge is to deliver over the next 12 months what you’ve put in this budget,” Berman said. “Good luck.”