The Village of Flower Hill Board of Trustees has approved a $4.3 million budget for the next fiscal year.
A hearing and vote on the matter were conducted at the trustees’ meeting on Monday over Zoom.
Mayor Brian Herrington noted in remarks before the budget presentation that this was the first year that the village’s Finance Committee was assisted by a nontrustee resident, Jeremy Shao, and thanked him as well as members of the village staff for assisting with constructing a post-COVID budget.
“[Everyone involved was] very helpful as we figured out how to come back from from COVID and readjust the budget, back to a normal level, as well as think through some larger infrastructure projects that we have been holding off on due to COVID,” Herrington said. “So thank you to everybody.”
The village’s budget for 2021-22 totaled $4,324,254, an increase of over $411,000 from last year’s $3,912,943. Herrington said the increase partially came from restoring items cut from the 2020-21 budget.
“Last year we had to change quickly. We didn’t know what the impacts of COVID-19 would be,” Herrington said. “And so this year we’re restoring a lot of those cuts that we made and are delivering a balanced budget while restoring those cuts … As with any full year budget plan we’re making our best predictions as to what the costs are going to be for the next 12 months and we’re going to manage to this budget.”
He added that a “strong” real estate market and a construction market that continued to come to the village for knock-down and building permits meant that he “expect[ed] revenues to recover.”
The budget’s biggest pieces include $738,808 for the village’s highway system, $730,355 for fire prevention and control, and $487,000 for employee benefits, with the latter seeing an increase of $13,000 from last year. Herrington said that the village’s largest anticipated expense increase would come from changes to its garbage contract.
“We’re anticipating a 36 percent increase in that contract based off of what we’ve seen out in the marketplace and discussions with different folks within the industry,” Herrington said. “You won’t see that directly in the sanitation line. We spread that out among our contingency budget too, as well, so we can dial that in as we get those bids back.”
The village trustees, including the recently elected Max Frankel, then voted unanimously to pass the budget.
The trustees will next meet on Monday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. over Zoom.