Bad Budget News for Macomb

Macomb, IL – The combination of the national recession and the State of Illinois' financial mess is impacting Macomb's budget for the current fiscal year.

City Administrator Dean Torreson told aldermen there is a $700,000 gap in the general fund - and that's after the city trimmed $250,000 from the budget.

Torreson said revenues from property taxes, sales taxes, income tax collections (from the state), and use taxes have all decreased. In addition, interest on city deposits has dropped.

"The only real bright spot in terms of revenue is that fines are up over the last couple of years by about $100,000," said Torreson.

Torreseon said the city started the fiscal year with $2.7 million in its reserve fund, so there is enough reserve money to close the gap and still have money left over.

"Two-million is still a healthy cash balance," said Torreson. "But the trend is what is troubling."

Torreson has never seen a confluence of events like this in his 27 years of working in city government.

Torreson talks more about the city's budget picture in an interview that you can listen to by clicking on the audio button.

Mayor Mick Wisslead says Macomb is at the mercy of the economy and the state. It's also at the mercy of Mother Nature. Wisslead is hoping for a mild winter so the city avoids running up a large bill for salt, fuel, and overtime pay for workers who clear snow from the roads.

Wisslead says the city will be looking for areas where it can make more budget cuts. The city has already deferred maintenance and equipment purchases.

The city says it will be cautious about adding any more public works projects for next year. It's already scheduled to complete the second phase of the Ward Street reconstruction project and the second phase of the northeast side water main project.

Macomb just completed the first half of its current budget year. The city operates on a fiscal year that begins on May 1 and concludes on April 30.