Fiscal Year 2020 Budget: The Meaning Behind the Numbers
At their meeting Thursday evening, the Village Board officially adopted a new budget for Fiscal Year 2020, which will go into effect on March 1. The budget document is comprised of nearly 280 pages of forecasts, expenditure and revenue summaries, department narratives and project descriptions which explain the Village’s financial position and spending plans for the coming year in great detail. But what does the new budget mean to you? The Village’s team—consisting of our elected officials, myself and our excellent staff—work daily to develop and execute programs and projects that are in the best interest of our community. So what does the budget mean to you? It is our plan for how to serve you in the most responsive, efficient and strategic way possible in the coming 12 months.
Before diving into specific highlights for the coming year, I want to reiterate the importance of our budget development process, as the way in which we build the budget directly impacts the overall outcome and spending plan. As I explained in my recent blog Budgeting: Anticipating Challenges, Adapting Practices, the budget development process is different from year to year because it is influenced by our changing financial forecasts, community priorities, State mandates and operational needs, as well as the results of recent studies and analyses. This year was no exception. Not only did we have the new Strategic Plan to help guide us, we also had the findings of the Tudor Court Design Review Process, the Active Transportation Plan and a new proposed financing plan for infrastructure spending over the next decade. Throughout the budget development process, we combined takeaways from these plans with the knowledge that we must continually search for and implement operational efficiencies so that we can maintain service levels while combating rising costs and deceasing revenues. For other specifics about how the budget is developed, review our Guide to the Village Budget.
Getting back into the specifics for the coming year, the budget includes $25,890,565 in expenditures and anticipates $24,279,805 in revenues. The difference between revenues and expenditures may seem concerning, but I assure you, it is very structured. Investments in capital (infrastructure, vehicles, equipment, technology investments) are planned as part of our 10-year Community Improvement Program (CIP). Where possible, accumulated fund reserves (money that has been saved by the Village from prior fiscal years for these very purposes) is used. This year, the budgeted difference between expenditures and revenues—almost $1.6 million—is programmed to come from these reserves.
To help summarize the meaning behind these numbers, here is a rundown of the major initiatives in the budget and their impact to you:
- We’re planning enhancements to Glencoe’s downtown business district and other major amenities, including parking management system upgrades, community wayfinding signage installation and the Tudor Court Street/Streetscape Improvement Project. Specifically, the planned improvements on Tudor Court aim to support the unique arts core that’s developing downtown (thanks to Writers Theatre and our many art galleries, as outlined in the Downtown Plan approved a few years ago) through place-making elements such as lighting, seating and other place-making elements.
- Impact to you: The goal of these projects is to support our local businesses and attractions. When our businesses and attractions thrive, there are multiple benefits to our taxpayers, not the least of which is the broadening of the tax base to non-residents who visit Glencoe.
- In addition to the aforementioned projects, we’ve scheduled multiple other capital and infrastructure projects including continued investment in technology to streamline Village operations, sidewalk restoration, sanitary sewer system upgrades and water main replacements at Euclid Avenue, Lincoln Drive and Longwood Avenue.
- Impact to you: While it might not sound like a fun way to spend tax dollars, investments back into our technology and built infrastructure is one of many ways in which we plan for our future. By making these investments, we can continue to attract residents and businesses to our community.
- The budget supports growing the Village’s environmental sustainability efforts, both internally relating to our operations and within the broader Glencoe community. This includes funds to access new sustainability benchmarking tools and to support the Village’s application for membership in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities & Communities program.
- Impact to you: Going green is no fad—it’s everyone’s responsibility. We’ll take what we learn through the benchmarking tools and the application process for LEED for Cities & Communities and share it back with you so that we can all do better to protect our environment.
- If you haven’t already heard – the Village is turning 150 this year! We’re planning an inclusive celebration of the Village’s 150th anniversary, including funds to support events and activities throughout 2019. These funds will be supplemented by sponsorships and several fundraising efforts throughout the year, including a commemorative vehicle license sticker.
- Impact to you: This initiative is really all about having fun, learning about our community’s history and growing together as we plan for our future. Learn about what’s in store at www.glencoe150.org.
- As with last year, 2019 will be full of studies, surveys and analysis, including the fielding of a community-wide survey, a comprehensive ordinance and regulation review, an analysis of the Village’s regulatory and financial authority, further evaluation of options for the Village’s water treatment and distribution services and continued process improvement projects to help streamline our day-to-day operations. These analyses, coupled with various data collection and reporting efforts, will help guide future priorities and strengthen operational efficiencies.
- Impact to you: In addition to benefitting from better services, you’ll have more opportunities throughout the year to give us feedback, further shaping our priorities.
- We’ve also committed to various staffing investments that are geared toward further developing an innovative, healthy and collaborative workforce through training, wellness opportunities and analysis of best practices in employee attraction and retention.
- Impact to you: We are out to be an employer of choice. In attracting and developing the best team possible, we will ultimately be able to serve you better.
While I’ve done my best to summarize it for you here, I still encourage you to review the budget document in its entirety. Download the bookmarked PDF here. If this is your first time taking a look through a municipal budget document, I encourage you to start with the Budget Guide on page 5 as it explains each section of the rather complex document.
Should you have any questions about the budget document, or any project or initiative that we have planned for the coming year, please do reach out. I hope you stay tuned as I share more about these initiatives throughout the year!