Budget

Edgerton Village Councilmen Jason Gruver, center, and Chuck Wallace, right, look over the current draft of the 2020 budget during Monday’s council meeting. Pictured in back is utility clerk Amanda Herman. LUCAS BECHTOL/Staff

EDGERTON — The Village of Edgerton will be making several capital improvement projects throughout the next several years.

This is reflected in a draft budget presented during the village council’s meeting Monday that shows spending outpacing revenue while still keeping close to a year’s worth of budget in the reserves for most departments.

According to the draft budget, in 2020 the village is expected to bring in just over $1.2 million but will spend closer to $1.4 million.

However, the ending balance of the general fund is still expected to be around $1.7 million, enough to run the village for nearly 15 months.

“It’s based off that larger capital number in there for street projects,” Denise Knecht, village fiscal officer, told the council. “You can see that inclining balance quickly declines when you do big projects.”

Knecht said the police and the park expenses come directly from the general fund but many other funds, such as for the fire department, can be subsidized by the general fund.

However, several projects for the police department also come from the Income Tax Capital fund.

For 2020, expenses are estimated to be around $315,930 over revenue, though Knecht said this includes the Hull Street project, which was initially budgeted for this year.

In a meeting with department heads prior to the main council meeting, Police Chief Dan Griffin said 2020 “comes with some twists.”

This includes the need to purchase a new police cruiser, which Griffin would like to be a four-wheel drive SUV budgeted at $45,000.

Griffin also said he would need four new e-ticket computers, as the ones they are using now were donated and constantly need to be rebooted. This will come to a cost of $8,000.

He also is budgeting $36,500 for a new radio system.

The Income Tax Capital fund is still estimated to carry over around $314,000, enough to fund just under seven months.

“There’s a lot of different places for general fund money to go,” Knecht said.

The water fund will be working on an estimated deficit of $19,474 in 2020, but should carry over around $424,642.39 into 2021. This amount could fund the water department for 13.74 months.

Knecht said the village is ready to do a rate study.

“So, I really think it would be a good idea for us to decide and get that capital list item for this building for water, too,” she said. “That can all be built into that study to make a better five-year forecast.”

The village has been trying to carry healthy balances in order to do capital improvements, which are needed for the water department.

Public works superintendent Kip Pahl has around $104,000 in the water capital funds, including $65,000 for pumps and a generator.

“A lot of times when we’ve had power outages, the guys can’t get their trucks out,” Pahl said. “You can’t see to get tools, pieces, parts, whatever you need. That would be a safety issue. ... It doesn’t have to be much, just enough for doors and lights.”

In 2020, he intends to do some well cleaning and also needs to clean the aerator, among many other issues.

“All in all, the plant is good, we just need to put money in it,” Pahl said. “We need to fix it up and make it right. We have electrical that needs to be rewired. We still have mercury switches in it. All in all, it works fantastic, but the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) doesn’t like it.”

He has $10,000 budgeted for building maintenance in the budget.

The same concept for the water department applies to the wastewater department, Knecht said.

Wastewater will bring in an estimated $324,000 in revenues but spend about $404,678. Carryover will be right around $391,000, which can run the department for just over 11 months.

Knecht said consumption in wastewater is going down.

“People are purchasing more energy-saving appliances,” she said.

Councilman Chuck Wallace said there is a similar problem with the electric department.

As the rates increase, people purchase more energy-efficient appliances to save money but the decrease of departmental revenue means the village needs to raise rates.

“It’s an oxymoron, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Wallace said.

The electric department expects to make a profit of $217,522, bringing the carryover to around $2.76 million, enough to run power for 10.65 months.

Some of the numbers, though, were estimated by American Municipal Power.

“It’s what they’re expecting on transmission costs and whatnot,” said Lance Bowsher, mayor.

That is projected to be the biggest expense at $2.5 million.

Electric Superintendent Troy Nihart has planned $121,000 in capital projects for 2020.

“My capital improvements are mostly going to maintenance,” he said.

This includes putting $5,000 away to replace the old electric meters which were installed in 2006.

Knecht said more and more of them are dying or the displays don’t work with Nihart saying their lifespans are usually around 15 years.

Nihart also has $41,000 set aside for downtown LED lights and pole upgrades.

The biggest expense he has is $50,000 for a SCADA system, an amount matched by Pahl in the water department.

SCADA stands for supervisory control and data acquisition, a computer system for gathering and analyzing real time data.

“As far as I know about SCADA, for us it’s going to be kind of more monitoring everything on my system,” Pahl said.

Nihart said it was an alarm to tell people when things go bad, such as if a lift station goes down.

“Right now, we have no way (to monitor),” he said. “If a lift station goes off, if no one calls central we have no way (to know).”

For example, Pahl said last year one of the water towers was overflowing because of a softener problem so the pumps just kept working and the village had no idea it was happening.

Nihart agreed, saying there have been times where a fuse went out and they didn’t know about it for hours because no one called it in. SCADA will help them keep track of those situations.

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