Collinsville approves 2015 city budget

News-DemocratJanuary 13, 2014 

— The City Council approved a budget for next year at its first meeting of this year on Monday.

Collinsville city government works on a biennial budget, approving budgets every two years. The 2014 budget was discussed in a public hearing on Dec. 9 and approved that evening, while the 2015 budget was approved unanimously Monday.

The 2015 budget projects approximately $35.9 million in revenue with $36.7 million in expenditures in 2015, which includes some capital projects being funded partially by grants, according to the city's report. The general fund budget projects revenue of $18.34 million and expenditures of $19 million.

While spending is higher than revenue within the same year, the city also receives revenue such as sales of assets and motor fuel taxes that do not count as revenue. Ammann said once all sources of funds are included, Collinsville will have a balanced budget.

The city's largest source of revenue is sales taxes, which will comprise 30 percent of total revenue in 2015 and is projected at an increase of 2 percent each year.

Property taxes make up about 10 percent of the city's budget, but the 2015 budget's impact on property taxes could not be estimated, since property values for next year have not yet been determined, Ammann said.

The largest city expenditures are in salaries, comprising 30 percent of the budget in 2014 and 35 percent in 2015. The second-largest category is contractual services such as utilities, garbage services, legal services and insurance, at 23 percent of the budget.

Ammann pointed out that 2013's spending ended about 3 percent less than 2012. "It's something to be proud of," she said.

Councilwoman Karen Woolard abstained from voting on the budget, stating that she was concerned about budgeting for projects that are not fully planned yet. The budget was approved 4-0.

Meanwhile, the two-year budget includes $13.5 million in capital improvement projects, of which $3.5 million comes from grants. Among the projects for 2014-15 will be:

* Phase 2 of reconstruction of South Clinton Street, from Glen Street almost to Illinois 159. Reconstruction includes storm sewers, curbs and gutters and new asphalt, as well as removal and replacement of the South Clinton Street Bridge.

* Improvements to the intersection of Keebler and Belt Line roads and along St. Clair Avenue.

* Adding sidewalks on Carl Street from South Morrison to Echo to improve safety for children walking to Twin Echo Elementary School.

* A salt shed to be constructed at the street department garage.

Projects funded through the city's tax increment financing district funds include the ongoing restoration of the D.D. Collins house and the planned park on Main Street, possible acquisition of the former post office building, streetscape improvements and water mains on Clay Street and Main Street.

The city also is in the middle of a multiyear $16.6 million renovation of the water treatment plant.

The council also approved sales of some properties owned by the city and cooperation agreements with the state and county for projects involving sidewalks near Twin Echo School, the streetscape project near City Hall and water main replacements on South Aurora Street.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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