Members of the Benld City Council voted unanimously Monday night to adopt an annual appropriation ordinance limiting expenditures for the current fiscal year to $2,144,662. The appropriation for fiscal 2023 is nearly double the typical appropriation for the City of Benld primarily because of a $640,000 sewer improvement project expected to get underway later this summer.
The annual appropriation is required by law for Illinois municipalities. It is not a budgetary device, though many municipalities use it as such. Technically, the appropriation sets the maximum total of expenditures the council can authorize from specific funds. An appropriation for a specific amount does not necessarily mean the council will spend that much from that particular fund; it merely sets a ceiling for expenditures from specific funds.
The newly approved ordinance, setting spending limits for expenditures made during the fiscal year that began May 1, appropriates $632,200 from the General Fund. Proprietary Fund expenditures are limited to $1,414,122, with Motor Fuel Tax fund expenditures limited to $98,342.
Appropriations from the General Fund are broken down as follows: Administration: $34,762, compared with $38,367 last year; City Property: $148,009, compared with $144,895.50 last year; and Police: $260,895, compared with $228,965 last year. The ordinance appropriates $138,275 for Maintenance, plus $5,000 for the annual audit, $1,300 for the Municipal Band, $1,400 for the City Cemetery, $30,000 for Legal Fees, $3,500 for the Public Library and $7,859 for Parks.
Proprietary funds are funds that include fees collected from taxpayers and can be only used for specific purposes. Under Proprietary Funds, the ordinance appropriates $757,420 for the Sewer Department, which includes $640,0000 in Capital Outlays. Capital Outlay expenditures primarily are comprised of anticipated spending in connection with a sewer improvement project on the city’s east side, which includes expenditures of $279,474 from the Atrazine Fund and $505,000 in grant funds. The ordinance appropriates $528,700 for the Water Department and $128,000 for Trash Pick-Up.
A separate appropriation for Motor Fuel Tax appropriates $98,342 for street maintenance, engineering costs and participation in cost-sharing projects with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Documentation submitted by the Finance Committee in conjunction with the actual appropriation indicates the General Fund had a beginning balance of $553,22 on May 1 and expects revenue of $615,000. With expected expenditures of $632,200, the General Fund is expected to end the fiscal year with a balance of $536,328.
The Proprietary Fund started the year with $427,999 in the bank. Expected income is estimated at $1,201,000, including the $505,000 in grant funds and an injection of $276,000 from the Atrazine Fund. With expenditures limited to $1,414,120, the fund is expected to end the year $214,880 in the black.
For the Motor Fuel Tax Fund, the beginning balance was $141,075. Revenue is projected at $56,000 with anticipated expenditures of $98,342. An end-of-the-year balance of $98,733 is expected.
Earlier in the meeting, it was reported that work is expected to begin on the sewer improvement project later this month or in early August. The council accepted a bid of $620,000 from Haier Plumbing and Heating, Okawville, in May. The project calls for replacing approximately 3,400 feet of deteriorating sewer lines and relining 1,600 feet of sewer lines that can be salvaged with repairs. The project is expected to be completed by Christmas.
In a related matter, the council accepted the resignation of the city’s sewer operator Randy Gross and voted to advertise for applicants to replace Gross. Mayor Kelly said he has contacted a couple of people who are licensed and are interested in the position. Gross has agreed to stay long enough to train his successor.
Mayor Kelly said the City of Gillespie is flushing hydrants in Gillespie in an effort to resolve long-standing issues with discolored water. Once the flushing is complete, Kelly said Benld should drain and flush the city water tower. Gillespie Mayor John Hicks said the city will not be charged for water to refill the tower, so the Water Department should take a reading before and after the tower is drained. Local water users will receive a notice via Facebook, WSMI and the marquee sign at the Fire Department.
MOTOR FUEL TAX BIDS
The council accepted the engineer’s recommendation to award bids for this summer’s Motor Fuel Tax street maintenance program. Successful bidders are Illini Road Oil, LLC, to provide road oil at a cost of $2.93 per gallon; Beelman Logistics, LLC, to provide rock at a cost of $21.19 per ton; and DeLaurent Construction, Wilsonville, to spread the rock at a cost of $24.50 per ton.
In other action, the council:
- Voted to purchase a backup gas pump for the lift stations.
- Voted to renew the city’s Dram Shop insurance at a cost of $625.
- Voted to pay property taxes on city-owned properties at 202 and 204 East Central Avenue, and 109 South Fourth Street.
- Voted to spend $3,200 to remove several dead trees located on the boulevard.
- Voted to seal the north/south roadway through the City Park at a cost of $1,800.
- Voted to approve a bid of $2,600 for repairs to the Civic Center exterior.