NORTHFIELD VILLAGE – An uncertain financial climate and an anticipated significant loss in village revenues due in part to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in the village reducing its 2020 permanent appropriations by $4.5 million.

Mayor Jesse Nehez explained that at Village Council’s March 23 meeting, the proposed appropriations were reduced by about 30 percent from $14.95 million to $10.44 million.

"In taking this action with my full support, Council placed several major capital projects on hold," said the mayor in a press release. "They include the fire station expansion and renovation, Coventry Road reconstruction and Victory Boulevard water main replacement.

"Once this crisis is resolved, the village will re-evaluate the timing, feasibility and funding methods for those projects based upon our financial condition."

The mayor said in addition to the budget cuts, and in order to exercise further financial responsibility during this period of uncertainty, he and Finance Director Jennifer Potvin have frozen all other non-essential capital and other expenditures.

"In the meantime, the village is continuing to provide all essential services to the public and residents," Nehez said. "Village buildings have been closed to the public, and some staffing hours have been reduced during this period of emergency and the state director of health’s stay at home order."

The mayor said if anyone needs assistance or services at this time, contact Village Hall, himself or a department head.

"I hope and expect that this crisis will be resolved in the not too distant future, and the village will be able to resume its planned infrastructure improvement projects and service upgrades that will continue to improve the lives of our residents," he said.

"We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this difficult period. Better times are ahead. We will get through this crisis together, and come out stronger in the end."

Originally proposed final appropriations for 2020 showed $7.37 million in the general fund and $14.95 million in all funds. The figures that were approved March 23 are $6.21 million in the general fund and $10.44 million in all funds.

Appropriations were reduced the most in three categories. General fund transfers, advances and contingencies were lowered from $1.81 million to $648,000; street construction, maintenance and repairs from $1.92 million to $675,815; and Northfield Park tax incentives from $3.93 million to $1.79 million.

The considerable reduction in Northfield Park tax incentives results from the fact that operations and patronage at MGM Northfield Park have been curtailed significantly by the coronavirus outbreak.

The new breakdown of other large general fund amounts is as follows: Police department, $1.72 million; service department, $1.02 million; contributions, $921,500; land and buildings, $866,795; general government, $393,000; finance department, $223,773; and law department, $136,072.

Smaller amounts are: Street lighting, $19,000; traffic signs/signals, $5,000; cemetery, $11,000; county health district, $23,000; mayor, $84,445; Council, $43,135; mayor’s court, $63,657; engineer, $20,000; and county auditor deductions, $18,000.

Other budget numbers are: Fire levy, $1.12 million; sewer fund, $350,703; police pension, $189,129; law enforcement assistance, $1,000; court computer, $3,500; earned benefits fund, $27,500; and Ledge Road improvements, $64,302.

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