Woodstock to vote on 2015 budget on Monday
by Michelle Babcock
June 08, 2014 04:00 AM | 2390 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Woodstock’s $34 million proposed fiscal 2015 budget calls for a rollback of the millage rate and a slight decrease in spending.

The Woodstock City Council could vote to adopt the budget following the second reading of the fiscal 2015 plan at its meeting Monday at 7 p.m., at The Chambers at City Center in downtown Woodstock.

However, if changes are made to the proposal, another reading may be necessary before adoption, said Woodstock Chief Financial Officer Robert Porche.

“There could be another reading if council materially changes some aspects of the budget,” Porche said. “Our city attorney will make that judgment call on Monday night during the discussion.”

Porche said there are 17 funds in the 2015 budget, with the three largest funds being the general, or operating, fund, the water and sewer fund and the storm water fund.

The general fund will get $17.024 million of the proposed budget, down from $17.3 million in fiscal 2014, a decrease of 2 percent.

The general fund represents about half of the total budget and is made up of mostly tax revenue.

In a presentation about the proposed budget, Porche said recurring revenues are projected to be up about 10 percent, and said residents can expect to see a partial millage rate rollback from 7.889 mills to a proposed 7.25 mills.

“The preliminary tax digest is up 18 percent before appeals. This valuation will surely lower as the appeals are adjudicated over the next several months,” Porche said. “The millage rate will be set in August.”

If a rate of 7.25 mills is approved by the council in August, it will be the lowest millage rate the city has had since 2011, when it was set at 7.016 mills.

Porche said the new millage rate can impact homeowners differently, depending on the valuation of their property.

“If the average Woodstock house has the same valuation as 2013, then their respective tax bill will go down because of the millage rate reduction,” Porche said. “If the average Woodstock house goes up in value — greater than the millage rate rollback — then the house will have a higher tax bill. Each house will be different.”

The second largest fund in the city’s budget is the water and sewer fund, accounting for $10.37 million of the proposed budget, or about 30 percent.

The water and sewer fund in the fiscal 2015 proposed budget is down $1.7 million from $12.08 million in fiscal 2014 year.

Upgrades in technology and new water filters at the wastewater facility in Woodstock are expected to save the city some money by reducing the chemical and utility cost, while water well exploration will use $425,000 of the proposed water and sewer fund.

The third largest part of the budget is the storm water fund, set at $1.79 million for fiscal 2015 and representing about 5 percent of the proposed budget.

The storm water fund proposed a $400,693 decrease from $2.2 million in fiscal 2014. Projects in the proposed budget include the Bentley Parkway pipe repair and replacement and the Justin Drive stream crossing.

The remaining $4.93 million in the fiscal 2015 proposed budget is spread across the city’s other 14 funds, representing the final 15 percent of the total budget.

The 2015 fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2015.

The Chambers at City Center is at 8534 Main St., in downtown Woodstock.

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