Highland Park unveils balanced $80 million budget plan
The City of Highland Park presented an $80 million balanced budget at a public hearing on Monday.
The budget was composed under the themes of fiscal stability, public safety, infrastructure investment, and community vibrancy.
The city plans $14 million for infrastructure, facilities and equipment. Water and sewer system improvements will be some of the city's biggest capital improvements in 2016, accounting for over $6 million in spending. The city will spend over $4.3 million on street and bridge improvements.
Achieving a balanced budget and paying for improvements could have been a tall order, considering the city's expectation of $16 million less in revenue and more than $20 million less in expenditures compared with 2015 budget projections. The city said it will fund its water and sewer projects through the departments themselves, raising $270,000 in water sales through a 5 percent water-rate increase, on top of raising $1.4 million in new sewer fund revenues.
In addition to line-item spending, the budget puts all future spending projects for all city departments in the context of five- and 10-year planning proceeds based on assessing community needs and available resources.
City officials expect to approve the budget with any amendments by the end of this month.