By: Diane Benjamin
If you want to watch the almost 7 hour budget session you can do so below. You won’t be able to see the slides discussed by the Finance Director because they aren’t on the video. You have to see those here: https://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/19621/Budget-Summary-Proposed—Jan-2022-Budget-Worksession
Get your two devices ready, get popcorn, and then fall asleep watching.
Here’s the short version of just the General Fund, save yourself a lot of time:
- Normal fancies itself as “full service” meaning they control every aspect of your life
- Revenue projections are up, they plan on spending it.
- It appears nobody is going to build in Uptown, see 35:40. The TIF money will be sent back to other units of government even the part of the TIF that was extended, that means nobody is building that wants subsidies.
- Water rates will go up, the Town will be doing a rate study to tell you water is more expensive in other cities to justify it.
- Health & Dental expenses are hurting the budget but the Town is hiring more personnel anyway. See PDF page 50 at the link above.
- 8.2 million of debt will be paid off, the financed fire truck added some back as will the new fire station on the east side.
- $1.7 million is budgeted for the underpass, the rest is paid for from grants (also your money)
- The budget includes $442,000 for rent at 1 Uptown Circle.
- The budget includes $315,000 for Uptown Development
- To see all the hiring by each department you have to go to the 380+ page proposed budget here and look up each department: https://blnnewsdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/normal-2023-budget.pdf Pam Reece claimed staff was cut in 2017 and now they need those employees back.
- See PDF page 275 for a debt summary. The Town thinks they can refinance some bonds in the future at lower interest rates to compensate for losing the Uptown TIF money.
From PDF page 25 of the budget – notice where the budget process already is: January. Mayor Koos doesn’t want bills discussed at Council meetings because he claims they were already approved in the budget. In March the Council will rubber stamp the budget. I wonder where those Monthly Financial Reports are? (See Post-Adoption)