Welcome to a recap of our 2024 budget meetings. At the last council session we passed the most challenging budget of my brief 3 year tenure. As ARPA funds dry up our obligation to infrastructure improvements remains. Additionally, economic conditions have made it more expensive for residents and their respective municipal bodies to operate. Our city manager touches on these issues in the budget’s Letter of Transmittal, which you will find below.
We are however in an advantageous position with our AAA bond rating, as any money we need to borrow comes at a more favorable rate than less responsible municipalities. Now is a good time to recognize that we owe this beneficial position to past leaders who acted as responsible stewards of city resources.
Some of our decisions in the last couple budgets are now coming to fruition. We have hired a Communications Director that will work to fill the other positions within our new Communications Department. Staff is working diligently on updating our parks, and crews continue to work on replacing lead water lines, water mains, worn out roads, and planting more trees.
One of the only areas of contention this budget season was our plan for discretionary funds. Ultimately we voted 9-0 to pass the budget but if you watch the last meeting you can tell some councilmembers took issue with how the proposal came forward. However at the end of the day I believe we all saw value in a decision that lessens the amount of interest fees to the city which ultimately is a benefit to every resident.
2024 Proposed Budget & Financial Plan
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City Manager’s Letter of Transmittal
Strategic Plan Overview
A transformative organization at the forefront of governmental service delivery
Elgin is a diverse and authentic City that embraces its history while aspiring to be an inclusive, innovative, and vibrant community
Note on Discretionary Funds
The 2024 budget lays out a plan to draw down $6,000,000 in discretionary funds from reserves over the next 3 years. The table below lays out a $5,000,000 allocation related to our bonds for lead water line replacement. This decision means we are planning to reduce our bond amount from $20,000,000 down to $15,000,000. This move is expected to save the city $1,000,000 over the first 5 years of our repayment period.
I do believe this decision is, like my colleagues have stated, a prudent financial decision -especially in a high interest environment.
This leaves an amount of $1,000,000 left in discretionary spending. You will find proposed areas of spending that I believe align with our strategic plan and help push Elgin toward our values and stated mission.
The table is formatted to list the Strategic Plan outcome area and the corresponding proposed initiative. The allocated amount is just a starting point proposed by me and has not been formally reviewed or confirmed by staff. This is simply an exercise in finding small bets that align with our Strategic Plan and have the potential for yielding compounding returns.
Strategic Outcome Areas & Initiative
City of Elgin Strategic Plan
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