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Sturtevant Starts Weighing Tough Decisions for Budget

Village officials are starting to look at their options in the face of expected cuts in state shared revenue.

While the state's biennial budget is still being debated and has yet to come to a vote, officials in Sturtevant are being proactive about their village's budget for next year and its impact on residents.

Projected cuts in state shared revenue could mean an almost $240,000 hole in Sturtevant's budget for both 2012 and 2013, and that amount does not account for the increased costs of running a village like electricity, heat or supplies.

"I know it's early," said Village Administrator Mark Janiuk to the board during a bi-weekly committee meeting earlier this month. "But I want you to start considering some options so you aren't scrambling when the state budget is passed."

Janiuk handed out a list of cuts and revenue stream ideas for trustees to consider. Some of the cuts include: eliminating the part-time police officer; not filling a Department of Public Works position that became vacant with a retirement; and there is already a savings of $15,000 for being part of joint dispatch.

More significantly, Janiuk listed cuts that might make a bigger impact:  

  • Eliminating a full-time police officer;
  • Further reducing the administrator to half time - Janiuk is currently at about 32 hours a week; and 
  • Cutting parks by a third. 

Employee concessions with contributions toward retirement and healthcare would also add to savings.

"We definitely need to look at everything," said Trustee Chris Larsen. "But, the only thing I will not consider is merging our police department with any other department. I will not risk the safety of our village."

Trustee John Johnson said the parks proposal is worth looking into further.

"It makes some sense to have the baseball program taking care of the ball fields so the village just cuts the grass," he said.

Daryl Lynaugh, chair of the Finance Committee, said he is not happy about the cuts listed, but things are going to get tighter.

"We have to look at what will prove best for the village in the long run," he said. "We've done so well streamlining these last years, like reducing full time staff to 18 from 35, and keeping on top of spending with monthly financial reports. Obviously, we have to do more."

On the revenue side of things, Janiuk has suggested the village ask residents for a one percent levy increase and perhaps add a fee for garbage service of up to $100 per household per year.

"Fees are really just another tax," Lynaugh noted. "But that is our reality, unfortunately."

He said he's going to keep the budget discussions on the committee agenda until the board gets solid information from the state and the village's budget considerations are complete.

"We have to keep thinking," he said.

steve May 23, 2011 at 07:19 AM
I love it, he says he's considering "Eliminating a full-time police officer" and "eliminating the part-time police officer" yet he says "the only thing I will not consider is merging our police department with any other department. I will not risk the safety of our village." Gotta love politicians.
Chris Larsen May 23, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Steve, I am wondering who you think said what. My statement was that I would not consider merging our PD with anyone else. I stand by that statement. Any other statements made by other members of the staff or Board is their own opinions. The part time officer added this year was funded for this year only. If you have any additional questions, I would ask you to contact myself or anyone on the board, and attend our next committee meeting on Tuesday night to voice your concerns.
steve May 24, 2011 at 07:00 AM
You're right Chris. Looking back at this article I see that you made the comments about not risking the safety of the village and as a longtime resident, I appreciate that. Janiuk was the one who made the comments about eliminating a part-time and a full time police officer ... the word "eliminating" just made it sound like this was not the plan all along. Why did we add a part time officer in the first place? Someone felt it was needed for the safety of the village residents, so what's changed now? or did we hire him because we had the extra money and didn't know what to do with it? Either way, it looks bad. I do give you guys props for trying to deal with the situation. Janiuk gets some props too for proposing reducing his hours from 40 to 32 and now proposing it be reduced to 20... makes me wonder about what he did for 40 hours a week if he can do it in 20. Or will he now be doing less for the residents? You guys also have me worried when you start talking about getting rid of our parks. We have to find a way to get creative with our budget without reducing our services. If I have to pay an extra hundred dollars, so be it. My taxes went down last year so that's par for the course.
John May 24, 2011 at 08:11 PM
The village can get by without an administrator, he even stated, cut it from 40 to 32 to 20. Rather see him disappear over the police dept. We already pay seven members of the board to make decisions, so administrator is just a padded position anyway. I never could see the reason we had one in the first place, he probably has cost us more then any kinda savings. Also for garbage fee, we already pay taxes to cover the cost to have this service already we don't need a double tax. This village is isolated and land locked for further growth, so now is the time to stop the bleeding and hold cost. Maybe look at consolidating P.W. with the county, this not being any kinda safety issues and you all wanna put more to baseball league to maintin the diamonds, we'd get the same kinda results with union members, paid benifits and minimal work. Just my thoughts how to fix things

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