FY 17 budget process under way in South Jacksonville

By Gary Scott on May 6, 2016 at 7:22am

South Jacksonville trustees got the ball rolling on the Fiscal Year 2017 budget last night.

Acting village mayor Steve Waltrip called to attention some of the issues he identified as priorities for the village earlier in the year.

“The IT system, [replacement of a] fire truck possibly, water meters to be a more up-to-date process,” he says.

“We do have budgets in from the department heads; it looks like we’re only about $50,000 over last year, which is not too bad, but taking into consideration there’s new items that we want to try to implement this year, we’ll see what that does to the budget,” Waltrip adds.

Village Clerk Dani Glascock told trustees it’s possible the village could partially pay for a new firetruck and upgrade the village’s computer systems through tax increment financing.

Waltrip says the village board has something to chew on with this budget.

“We want to see what the priorities are of the trustees, see what they want to implement this year,” says Waltrip. Of course, next year is the brand-new election, you get a new mayor for four years, so, we want to be a little bit progressive, but not to be overly progressive for the next administration.”

Several reasons were offered for the reason the budget increased. It was indicated the South Jacksonville Police Department had skewed numbers last fiscal year related to a lack of payment for a new police dispatch agreement with the City of Jacksonville.

Plus, Waltrip said $100-thousand was added to the legal representation fund because of the aftermath of the 2015 Illinois State Police official misconduct investigation.

“Until that’s settled, I think that the board would be prudent to do that,” he says.

The village’s Finance Committee will meet again on April 23rd to take the budget discussion a step further.

Also last night, an update was provided on the Concert in the Cornfield. Trustee Paula Stewart said talent for the show will be selected soon.

About $37-thousand was approved for road work from the Motor Fuel Tax fund, plus $2-thousand from the tourism fund for signage at the Prairieland Heritage Museum.

And trustees approved an action item for the appraisal of property at the corner of South Main and West Michigan, which is where the village wants to put a new welcome sign. The property is appraised at between $25-hundred and $5-thousand through Waltrip Real Estate.

The board approved a special use permit for a one-chair barbershop on 9 Diana Lane.

Trustees also discussed pedestrian safety on Hardin Avenue. We’ll have an update on that story coming up in a future newscast.