EDGERTON — Edgerton Village Councilman and Mayor-Elect Bob Day asked several questions concerning the 2020 budget before the council passed it on Monday evening.
The questions concerned everything from what they were doing with some of the money to issues with specificity or rather the lack of it.
The first question he had was in relation to appropriating $50,000 for capital outlay for leisure time activities, and whether or not any of that money would be used to match money the Edgerton Area Foundation would like to donate.
Village Fiscal Officer Denise Knecht said that the $50,000 was broken out into several projects, including $10,000 for building upgrades to the Miller Park shelter house, $25,000 for other upgrades to Miller Park such as the concessions and bathroom and another $15,000 for new mowers.
She said the $25,000 chunk would be for possible projects involving the Edgerton Area Foundation. The plan is also to have $25,000 for the project in 2021 and again in 2022.
Back in October, Councilmen Chuck Wallace and Day said they had talked to the foundation, which wanted to donate $40,000 to the parks, but wanted to see the village match $40,000 to $80,000. The project would include moving the ball diamonds and building a concession stand.
“I think we’re still waiting on a formal plan that outlines everything they want to do and dollar amounts and exact cost,” Councilwoman Jackie Perry said.
Wallace said the plan was “guesstimated” to be around $120,000, but the specifics of who would draw up the plans and who would pay for it haven’t been discussed.
Day asked what it would take to get started and Knecht said they would want a plan laid out with what the project is and who is going to be in charge and pay for what.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Perry said. “I just think we have to have some things in place to protect the Edgerton Area Foundation as well as the village as well as the community.”
Day also asked about the town hall, for which around $50,000 in capital outlay is budgeted.
Knecht said $6,750 was put into a fund to pay for an asset management study while around $43,000 was set aside for possible projects based on that plan.
“I guess what I’m getting at is: A lot of this budget has money that really isn’t allocated to any specific thing, it’s just kind of vague,” Day said.
Councilman Jason Gruver said “that’s just what budgeting is.”
Day countered that the money could just be appropriated once they know exactly what it will be used for.
“We’ve run into this several times over the years where we had the mower, the leaf machine, some of these things come up and if we have too many questions, well, council has already approved the appropriation so up to $50,000 council really has no say,” he said. “What I’m saying is, if we don’t have any specific use for that $43,000, why put it in the budget?”
Mayor Lance Bowsher said that is exactly why the budget is the way it is.
“We’ve also had it the other way around, where we’ve had — I’m making up a number — $25,000 for project X, other things come up and we don’t spend that money because it didn’t make sense at that time,” he said.
It’s also that way in case of emergencies.
If money is earmarked for a specific project, then it would need to only be used for that project, Bowsher said.
“If we have an emergency or situation where that money can be used in a better way, our hands are tied,” he said. “No one has a crystal ball. No one knows when that storm will come through. We have to be able to get a hold of that money if it can be used in a better way.”
Perry said it can also be earmarked by merely setting that project up as a capital improvement project.
Day said there was no right or wrong answer, he just personally likes seeing the money divided up specifically.
The council voted 5-1 to pass the budget, with Day voting against it.
In other business:
• The village held a public hearing on zoning changes throughout the village.
• Village Administrator Zach Dohner said the Business Alley West project did not get grant funding as other projects would bring in more money to the county.
• Dohner also said the East and West Hull Street projects got an extension on when the projects needed to be awarded. The projects will be advertised on Dec. 31 and Jan. 7, with Poggemeyer Design Group footing the advertising bill and also sending out a free packet to companies who had purchased a bidding packet previously. Grants are set to be awarded on Jan. 20 with a start date still set for February.
• Council met in executive session to discuss compensation of an employee with no action taken as of press time.
• Officials announced anyone interested in filling Day’s council seat should contact the mayor.