Council’s First Thoughts on 2021 Budget

Last night, Naperville City Council heard the first of three presentations on the 2021 city budget. City staff reported that Naperville will operate with $507.3 million, up 8.8% from 2020’s amended budget.

COVID-19 Impact

They also broke down how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the 2020 budget and how it shaped the budget for 2021.

“While our initial concerns of steep revenue declines have waned slightly after seeing improving sales tax returns in recent months, the future remains unclear,” said Finance Director Rachel Mayer. “Again, it is impossible to know how long the pandemic will impact consumer spending, therefore we have taken a conservative approach in estimating sales tax revenue for 2021.”

2021 Expenses

Some capital improvement projects, like the Downtown Streetscape were pushed back to 2021.

Other notable expenses earmarked for next year include the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager role, and increased costs for leaf collection.

“Leaf pickup continues to be one of the most valued services by our residents,” said Deputy City Manager Marcie Schatz. “In 2019, council approved an enhanced level of service for this program and in 2021, the city will invest $1.73 million in the leaf collection program, which is a 7.6% increase from 2020. This increase is a result of labor and disposal costs rising as well as equipment replacement.”

Public Safety

Public safety was another major topic, with discussion around plans for a police body cam program, hiring more traffic cops, and crisis intervention training for 25 more officers.

Though some on the council felt the city could train more than 25 officers in crisis intervention next year, Councilman Benny White asked staff to look into other options.

“I know there was some discussion about investigating whether it makes sense to shift some of that burden to more of a social services-type of service that could deal specifically with those, which would free up our police to go and work on more policing things,” said White.

Timeline for 2021 Budget Approval

Budget workshops will also be held on November 9 and 23 before the final budget is approved on December 1 and the tax levy is approved on December 15.

The budget presentation can be downloaded at this link.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

 

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