Posted Online: May 14, 2013, 9:23 pm

Geneseo looks at balanced budget

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

GENESEO -- A new fiscal year 2013-14 budget proposed for the city reflects revenues $5,000 more than expenditures.

Discussed at Tuesday's city council meeting, the budget could be approved at the council's June 11 meeting.

Ald. Robert Wachtel, 2nd Ward, said the financial picture is much improved over that of a few years ago. The city's deficit for 2009-10 was $105,509; in 2011-12, it was $287,734.

"Going back a couple years, I never dreamed this could happen," he said.

Mayor Linda Van Der Leest said the new financial outlook was something to be glad about.

"We're making good strides," she said. "We're very enthusiastic about what the future holds for us."

Total general fund revenues are $3,419,100, while expenditures are $3,414,100. Electric department, revenues are pegged at $7,350,300 while expenditures are $7,077,200, showing capital improvements of $400,000. Water department revenues are forecast at $964,500 while expenditures are $826,300.

On another financial topic, Ald. Howard Beck, 3rd Ward, said the Illinois Department of Transportation is happy with the city's motor fuel tax accounting.

"The auditor's comments: in the past it has been an issue," he said. "There were problems with proper accounting."

Ald. Beck credited city administrator Jim Hughes, city accountant Karen Brandau, city clerk Loree Phlypo and city engineer Klint Rice with making "outstanding progress," noting the documentation is now is very good.

Also on Tuesday, Mr. Rice noted construction on South State Street is moving forward, with Walter Laud, of Carbon Cliff, the low bidder at approximately $1.3 million. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has approved the city's stormwater pollution prevention plan, with work expected to start between June 1 and June 10.

During the project, traffic will be restricted to local residents, but Mr. Rice said the only time residents won't be able to reach driveways will be when workers are crossing State Street with infrastructure or pouring the road or approaches.

In other business:

-- Mayor Van Der Leest noted First United Methodist Church will break ground for a multi-million dollar expansion on May 19. Alderman talked about temporarily closing Park Street near the construction site on Sunday mornings and changing Sommer Street to a two-way.

-- Ms. Phlypo was sworn in as city clerk, as were Ald. Beck; Ald. Doug Crow, 4th Ward; Ald. Carl Freeman, 1st Ward; and Ald. James Roodhouse, 2nd Ward.

-- City staff reportedthere will be a campaign to inform residents not to mow into the streets because the grass is bad for the storm sewers.