No tax increase in Barrington’s proposed 2013 budget
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:12AM
BARRINGTON — Village officials presented Monday night Barrington’s proposed 2013 budget, a spending and revenue plan that reflects overall fiscal stability.
“There are no significant changes in services,” said Jason Hayden, the village’s director of community and financial services.
He explained that village officials were conservative in their budgeting, due to lingering economic uncertainty.
According to the village’s proposed budget, officials project that 2013 revenue will come in at $27.4 million, which would represent a 1 percent revenue decrease from the $27.8 million of revenue this year. Barrington officials attributed the slight decrease to a reduction in grant money in the capital improvement fund.
On the expenditure side of the proposed budget, the village projects $21.1 million in operating costs in 2013. These funds cover the bulk of village services and staffing, including all public safety and the majority off public works services. The village workforce is projected to consist of 125 full-time equivalent employees in 2013, which is 17 percent less than the 152 employees five years ago, according to the proposed budget.
Debt service payments are projected to total $3 million next year. Hayden said the debt amassed to build City Hall and other public safety buildings will retire in 2013.
The remaining $3.3 million in revenue has been earmarked for the village’s capital project program. Barrington’s entire capital plan for 2013 will cost an estimated $8.9 million, with the remainder funded through grants, bond proceeds and fund balances.
Water system and street improvements top the list of planned capital investments in 2013. The most expensive projects are $1.8 million for grade separation engineering on Route 14 and $1.7 million for a water main project on Main Street. If approved as is, the village plans to spend $1.6 on its annual road program in 2013.
When asked about property taxes, Hayden reported the village plans to request $2.85 million, the same amount as this year. Overall, the village’s top revenue generators consist of charges for services, property taxes and sales taxes.
“This provides a very strong foundation for 2013 and the future,”Hayden said. “The village should be very comfortable.”
A significant piece of the budget presentation also focused on the redevelopment at Hough and Main streets, which officials called a “cornerstone project” likely to be completed in 2013.
“Hopefully, this will be turned into a retail center,” said Hayden, noting that the intersection previously had a gas station and a bank.
Hayden reported that $75 million is planned to be invested in the downtown TIF, $50 million of which will be public sector funds.
The developer of the planned Barrington Village Center plans to lease approximately 35 percent of the 2.7 acre site for their office and retail center, which calls for outdoor dining, public plazas and wide sidewalks. That private investment is between $10 and $12 million, village officials said.
The village will continue to own the parking for this site and the surrounding downtown areas.
Paul Wells, owner of ReMax Realty in Barrington, said he does not agree with the TIF district investment because the commercial market has been slower to improve than the residential market.
“The economy has changed so much,” he said. “I think this is an aggressive project that has to be looked into.”
Accomplishments in the TIF district, Hayden reported, have been the installation of decorative lights and a community events sign in the center of town, as well as the addition of brick pavers and buried utility lines.