DeKalb aldermen to discuss budget Tuesday

DeKALB – The public will have a chance Tuesday to weigh in on the city of DeKalb’s budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Barring any major changes by the DeKalb City Council members, the city will spend at least $30 million in its general fund, a 5.4 percent increase from this fiscal year. The city’s general fund pays for city personnel, commodities such as police and fire equipment, and contractual services.

But they also pay for pensions. The city is projecting to spend $570,000 more on police and fire pensions out of their general fund.

“That’s part of the reason why this is such a big issue to the state legislature,” Assistant City Manager Rudy Espiritu said. “It’s something we’re trying to control, but these are state-mandated costs.”

The city is projected to bring in $31.1 million in revenue for fiscal 2014, a 4.2 percent increase from this fiscal year.

City Manager Mark Biernacki said he will recommend that the council adopt the budget on first reading at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, with a final vote occurring June 10. However, the City Council is able to finalize the vote Tuesday.

There are a couple of issues DeKalb aldermen will need to decide before they adopt the budget. During the budget workshops they held earlier this month, the aldermen requested more information and amendments to the budget.

For instance, 5th Ward Alderman Ron Naylor requested $100,000 to reinstate the flood plain buyout program and to use the general fund to pay for the costs of salt and electricity.

If all of their amendments were adopted, the projected $296,000 surplus for the fiscal 2014 budget would become a $348,000 deficit.

“Hence why they need to decide what to do,” Espiritu said. “It could cause a deficit in the budget.”

If the amendments are adopted, the city would have a fund balance of $4.9 million on June 30, 2014. If the amendments are not, that balance would be $5.5 million.