Spending cuts are looming in Naperville as the city prepares the budget for next year.
City staff has been faced with the challenge to fill the current budget deficit of $1.8 million within their general fund. Their plan requires departmental reductions throughout the city.
“They really tried to identify the areas where they could reduce spending or provide alternatives to services that they currently are doing or look for ways to reduce costs overall,” said Rachel Mayer, Director of Finance for the City of Naperville.
Some of the cuts revolve around salaries – the Police Department plans to reduce their budget by $200,000 by limiting overtime expenses.
The City Council and Mayor’s budget will also make cuts to the tune of $130,000 as they’ve decreased insurance costs due to officials not electing coverage, and lowered their dues.
And additional savings would come from a reduction in supply costs based on historical spending.
But the plan to save about $800,000 over the next year through a vehicle-leasing program for a fire truck and public works vehicle didn’t go over well with the council.
“I don’t see where the savings occurs over time. However many vehicles we end up buying, were going to have that many lease payments accumulated that need to be paid, and I agree it is taking on additional debt,” said Kevin Gallager, Councilman for the City of Naperville.
But the Director of Finance still thinks it’s a viable option based on the incentives that come with leasing the city’s vehicles.
“Instead of outright buying it, be able to rent that piece of equipment over a period of time, that then that rental option program would also provide the maintenance on that vehicle, which we currently incur those expenses in house. So to pilot it, see if it does save money and provides a better service,” said Mayer.
City council also requested that staff look for more cuts, as they also anticipate lower projected revenues in the telecommunications and gas tax. Mayer is happy to do so as long as the cuts don’t affect the residents.
“Making sure that we put ourselves in a position that we can continue to provide the good service to Naperville over the long term is part of the reason why we have talked about what we have the last several months and focused on putting in a financial sustainable model for the long term,” said Mayer.
The next budget workshop will be held on November 9th and will review the city’s electric fund, and special funds.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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