The village’s finance committee spent over two hours going over the proposed budget during a Monday night meeting.
Mayor pro-tem Steve Waltrip says he wants to budget for IT infrastructure upgrades at Village Hall, a new fire truck, a new utility truck, and upgrades to the village’s water meter system.
South Jacksonville will use roughly $321,000 in revenue from its Tax Increment Financing District, and about $550,000 will come out of the general revenue fund. The TIF money will completely cover the infrastructure upgrade, according to treasurer Tiffanee Peters.
Waltrip says the village is being aggressive this year.
“It’s quite a bit of expense, but the thing is, much of this falls under the TIF District because Village Hall is in the TIF zone. So, we asked our TIF attorney, and they confirmed that. So, that’s why we’re going to go ahead and bite the bullet, so to speak, and get some of these larger items that need to be updated taken care of,” says Waltrip.
The Finance Committee also talked about employee salaries.
Waltrip said he wanted to make pay raises more even. He said raise percentages were “all over the place” with the previous village administration, and specifically claimed that former mayor Gordon Jumper’s treatment of utility superintendent John Green wasn’t fair.
However, when we went on record with Waltrip, he didn’t want to go into more details.
“What we’re looking to do is just take what we had before us, and operate and go forward. What happened in the past happened in the past, and we’re just going to go ahead and present it and see what we can do by living within our means,” he says.
Waltrip says the plan is to give the village’s street department employees a three percent raise, plus an increase of a dollar an hour in wage. The plan is to give a three percent raise to all other village employees. It was specifically noted that South Jacksonville firefighters haven’t seen a raise since 2012.