The South Jacksonville Board of Trustees got their first look at a draft budget for the current fiscal year during last night’s committee of the whole meeting.
New Village Treasurer Mindi Olson presented the board of trustees with the draft budget three months into the current fiscal year. Olson, who was recently appointed as Treasurer following the resignation of former Village Treasurer Tiffanee Peters, said the new budget was reduced over last year by approximately $227,000, but overall the Village is projected to run in a deficit of more than $400,000.
Village President Dick Samples said following the meeting, that he was very pleased with the first look at the Village’s new budget however, there is more work that needs to be done.
Samples: “I thought it was very well presented, very well done. I thought it was thorough and I was just totally tickled with it.”
WLDS News: “The Village is running at a deficit this year?”
Samples: “Right now as proposed it is but we still haven’t voted on this budget. And again I think it’s a lot better than the one last year.”
During discussion on the budget, Olson said she was not in favor of some of the previous budget practices and worked to streamline the new budget and yet better specify certain line items that were not properly allocated in previous budgets.
Several line items are proposed to have deep cuts such as the $20,000 cut to the legal fees, and more than $200,000 cut from the Tourism line item.
Other departments would receive healthy increases under the new budget such as both the Fire and Police Departments who are each anticipating needing to replace one vehicle as well as regular equipment maintenance and scheduled replacement costs.
During discussion, Samples said the board was told last year the Village was operating on a balanced budget, which is now estimated to have been closer to a $400,000 deficit the previous fiscal year.
Samples has called for a special meeting of the Board of Trustees for next Thursday, September 15th at 7:00 pm to approve the new budget. He says he hopes some new ordinances that have recently been set as action items will be ready for approval at that time as well.