Approved! Understanding the Village's Calendar Year 2022 Budget
In last month’s blog, I shared information with you about the Village’s then-Draft Calendar Year 2022 Budget, including the Village Board and staff’s involvement in its development and review process. As I circle back with you today, I am pleased to report that the Board approved the Village’s Calendar Year 2022 Budget at their meeting on December 16. The Calendar Year 2022 Budget will take effect on January 1, 2022 and details the Village’s planned inputs and outputs for the coming 12 months. 2022 will be a consequential year for Glencoe; in addition to funding the Village’s critical day-to-day operations, the 2022 Budget includes over $9.2 million in planned infrastructure investment back into our community.
Municipal budgets are complicated documents to read and are often thought of as just a collection of spreadsheets; however, the Village’s annual budget is much more than that. Village President Howard Roin described it well during our public budget meetings this year – he noted that the document itself is set up to tell a story, each section advising the next and articulating the Village’s policies, priorities and vision for the coming 12 months and beyond. I encourage you to review the full budget document to see for yourself.
As I explain in the document’s transmittal message:
Each budget considered, reviewed and approved by the Village Board tells a story. The story of this budget is one of cautious recovery and strong investment in physical infrastructure that improves our residents’ quality of life.
I think this encapsulates our 2022 Budget well.
Compared to a year ago, we are in a significantly improved financial situation, thanks in no small part to the Village President and Board’s prudent planning and spending reductions during the early stages of the pandemic. Revenues have stabilized, and in many cases, improved. As a result, we have worked to limit 2022 financial impacts to our residents wherever possible. The Village’s property tax levy will only increase by 1.4%, and water and sewer rates will have their smallest increases in five years (6.5% and 3% respectively).
While we will continue with the Village’s same focus on prudent spending in 2022, we are also making sure we invest where necessary. (Check out the Village’s entire Calendar Year 2022 Community Investment Plan here.) As I noted, next year will be a year of substantial investment in Glencoe’s infrastructure. The Village intends to utilize a variety of financial resources to fund $9.2 million in improvements, including: grants from the Federal ($1.2 million) and State ($575,000) governments; other outside grants and donations ($400,000); April 2021 referendum bond proceeds ($4.2 million) as well as fund balance reserves. These resources will accommodate:
- Over $2.3 million in street resurfacing;
- Over $2.1 million in stormwater and sanitary sewer improvements;
- $2.2 million in replacements and investments in our water production and distribution system;
- Investments in sidewalk replacement in the downtown and throughout Glencoe; and
- Long-awaited improvements to the Green Bay Trail crossing at Hazel Avenue, which will connect to the Park District’s recent trail improvements and Safe Routes to School improvements that will increase safety on some of our most traveled pathways to our schools. (Grants will pay the vast majority of the costs for these projects.)
- We will partner with the Glencoe Park District to improve the Glencoe Beach ramp that leads both to the waterfront and the Village’s water treatment plant, just one of the many ways we work closely with our partner governments to make important community improvements.
In addition to physical infrastructure improvements, the Calendar Year 2022 Budget also plans important equipment and technology investments. We are looking forward to Public Safety and Public Works vehicle and equipment replacements, many of which were previously deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New equipment will ensure our staff can perform some of our community’s favorite services like sidewalk snow removal and curbside leaf collection, and new technology will keep the Village organization running as efficiently as possible. I am particularly pleased that this year also marks an important step forward in advancing the Village’s commitment to sustainability. We plan to transition our Public Works and Public Safety Departments’ fleets to more efficient hybrid- and all-electric vehicles, with two all-electric vehicles planned for Public Works and two additional hybrid Public Safety squad cards in 2022.
Last but certainly not least, we are also investing in our staff. As you know, throughout the pandemic, our staff showed up to provide the critical services our community needs and continues to do so each day. Whether employees are working around-the-clock shifts at the water plant or in Public Safety, staffing the Glencoe Golf Club and Village Hall or conducting Village business in the community, our team consists of dedicated public servants focused on making sure the Village’s services never stop. Staffing is also by far the Village’s largest single annual and long-term investment, which like our equipment and infrastructure, necessitates appropriate reinvestment as well. This year, we added new positions into the budget to assist where there are needs in our operational structure. This includes temporary over-hires in our Public Works Department’s Water Division as a succession planning tool for expected upcoming retirements; additional part-time resources for Public Safety, the Golf Club and Public Works; a Management Analyst in Public Safety to assist with administrative responsibilities; a Communications Manager to maintain and improve the Village’s robust communications efforts; and a grants coordination position to help the Village securing grant funding to support our operations and infrastructure needs.
These are just parts of the story told by our Calendar Year 2022 Budget, and I hope you’ll take a few moments to peruse it. If something jumps out at you, or you are curious about how or why something has been included, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I’d be happy to answer your questions. Also, keep an eye on your mailboxes in January for the Village’s Calendar Year 2022 Budget in Brief document, which tells our budget story in a format that’s even easier to understand and takes a lot less time!
With that, I wish everyone in Glencoe a very safe, very happy and very healthy new year. Thank you for continuing to support the Village by shopping local, enjoying our open spaces, meeting and greeting your neighbors and participating in your community discussions, activities and meetings. 2022 will be a busy, important and exciting year, but we are all better served by making sure we are caring for ourselves and each other, especially as we continue to adapt to and manage COVID-19 in our lives. Thanks for all you did this past year to keep our community great. Let’s keep it up in the new year!