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Sycamore City Council OKs fiscal 2015 budget

SYCAMORE – Sycamore City Council members voted Monday to adopt the budget for fiscal 2015.

The next fiscal year, which starts May 1, will have general fund expenditures of $14,180,842, which will be offset by $14,181,738 in anticipated general fund revenues. The estimated starting fund balance will be $4,704,975, which is 33 percent of the planned general fund expenditures for fiscal 2015.

“It is a balanced budget,” said Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory.

City Council members have been reviewing the budget since the fall. When comparing the budget to a preliminary one dated March 17, there are almost no changes. One of the few changes is the addition of a $60,000 salary for Sycamore Middle School’s new school resource officer who will start work in August. Once that is added to the general fund’s expenditures, the budget will remain balanced.

According to Monday’s City Council agenda, significant general fund expenditures include allocating $360,000 to pay the fiscal 2015’s sales tax rebates, a $4,000 decrease in dispatch services that was negotiated with DeKalb County, and a reserve transfer of $75,000 to the employee benefit assistance fund for accrued leave payouts of retirement of several senior employees.

Fiscal 2015’s capital program will include a street maintenance program of about $2.7 million, the most of any year since the program began, Gregory said. Construction projects will include widening Bethany Road from Peace Road to Aster Drive this spring and improvements to residential streets.

Gregory said the city set money aside each year for the Bethany Road project in addition to saving a $450,000 grant Sycamore received from the state three or four years ago.

“Typically, the street maintenance program has somewhere around $1.5 million,” he said. “We’re focused on the residential streets we’re doing as well as Bethany Road. That’s been on our radar for quite some time.”

Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy called the budget a living and breathing document that will dictate how much money department heads will have available.

“The big challenge is maintaining the services or improving them with the amount of money we have on hand and coming in,” Mundy said.

The fiscal 2015 runs through April 30, 2015, and fiscal 2014 ends April 30.

Residents can review the fiscal 2015 budget at Sycamore Public Library, 103 E. State St., or at the clerk’s office.

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