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City of Evanston Releases 2019 Proposed Budget

Post Date:10/05/2018 4:30 PM

budget_calculatorEvanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz has released the proposed budget for the City of Evanston’s 2019 fiscal year, which runs from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

The total proposed budget is $318,813,693, which includes all funds and inter-fund transfer expenses. The General Fund proposed baseline budget is projected to have $110,311,062 in revenues and $115,195,999 in expenditures for a deficit of $4,884,937. In addition, next year’s budget will require $1 million for Robert Crown Community Center debt service and a $1.5 million contribution to the General Fund reserves. These expenses, along with the baseline deficit of $4.9 million, resulted in a total deficit of $7.4 million.

In order to address the $7.4 million deficit, the 2019 Proposed Budget Transmittal Letter includes additional revenues of $3.3 million and reduced expenses of $4.3 million for consideration during the City Council’s budget discussion process. The budget includes a proposed $1 million increase in the City’s share of Evanston property taxes to recapture the additional Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) released from the Washington National TIF. This action will not impact the City portion of the property tax rate.

This proposed budget also includes an 11 percent increase in the City water rate, which is offset by a seven percent decrease in the City’s sewer rate. As the debt in the Sewer Fund continues to decrease, the City is reducing this rate. However, the Water Fund requires funding for major capital improvements over the next several years. These fee changes will have no impact to customers’ combined water/sewer bills.

With such a large deficit in the baseline General Fund budget, this proposed budget includes the reduction of 21 vacant and 17.5 filled positions, for a total of 38.5 full-time equivalent positions (FTE). The budget also includes the addition of one position of planner and one position of customer service representative in the Community Development Department to help expedite permit processing. Four other positions are added due to reorganizations in the City Manager’s Office, Law, Police and Administrative Services Departments. This proposed budget includes $3.5 million in new revenues from increases in parking meter and surface lot/garage fees.

“The Evanston economy remains stable; however, future revenues are being reduced to reflect the slowing down of this building cycle in the community and the reduction of revenues due to the passage of the State of Illinois 2017-18 Budget,” said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “The recommended expense decreases in this proposed budget are designed to maintain the structural budget integrity of the City’s General Fund while minimizing the impact to City services. Given the continued concerns over the State of Illinois budget and economy, the City continues to adjust operations in a sustainable manner for the coming year and into the future.”

The 2019 Proposed Budget document can be found at cityofevanston.org/budget. Printed copies are available at the City Clerk’s Office in the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue, Evanston and the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue. 

The annual budget is a policy document that sets the financial course for the City of Evanston and defines the service priorities provided to the community. It is the culmination of months of effort by the entire City staff, as well as residents, to balance available resources with the actual and desired services required by Evanston residents, businesses and visitors.

Community members are invited to visit cityofevanston.org/budget for a link to a new online tool, “Balancing Act,” which will allow them to submit their own version of a balanced budget and provide comments. Using this tool, residents start with the initial baseline deficit budget and adjust major revenues or expenses until they reach a balanced budget.

The City of Evanston’s 2019 Proposed Budget will be formally presented to the Evanston City Council on Monday, October 22, 7 p.m., in the James C. Lytle City Council Chambers, Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston. Residents are also invited to attend a public hearing on the budget on Saturday, October 27, at 9 a.m., in the Council Chambers. In addition, iInformal budget discussions will be held in each of Evanston’s nine wards beginning Tuesday, October 9 through Wednesday, October 24. Details are available at cityofevanston.org/budget.

Residents can provide their input on the 2019 Proposed Budget through any of the following channels:

For more information about the 2019 Proposed Budget, visit cityofevanston.org/budget or call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

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