The Village of New Lenox Board of Trustees got the news Oct. 22 that their financial reporting and books are in good shape.
Auditor Tara Leja, of McGladrey and Pullen LLC, Chicago, announced that the 2012 audit of the Village's finances found zero discrepancies. She gave the board high marks for boosting revenue and reducing expenditures.
The general fund balance is $6.2 million, which is $3.2 million more than a year ago, she said.
Kim Auchstetter, director of finance for the village, explained that the boost in revenue is due to a combination of reasons. The .5 percent raise in sales tax from 8 percent to 8.5 percent brought in extra funds, and another $847,000 came in from the utility tax.
As for the revenue stream, the village took in roughly $19 million this year compared to $17.1 million the year previous. Auchstetter pointed out that while revenues were up; expenses were down for 2012. This year, expenses totaled $15.3 million compared to $15.9 million the year before.
The auditor lauded the village for taking steps to keep expenses down, despite tough economic times.
Mayor Tim Baldermann took the opportunity to thank the village staff for keeping a tight rein on spending. "Our expenditures are down this year over last year…it's because of the staff."
Leja told the board that its reporting practices last year earned it the Distinguished Budget Award, and she anticipates the same for this year.
When asked to comment about the accolades given by the auditor, Auchstetter noted that she had been an auditor before her position in New Lenox as finance director. "I know what they're looking for."
Kurt Carroll, village administrator, said because the village's finances are healthy, the municipality's rating moved from Double A Stable to Double A Positive. The change in rating made it easier for the village to seek bonds for capital improvement projects.
In September two general obligation bonds were authorized. First was a $9.9 million bond to initiate construction of the new public works facility and police station along with upgrades to the sanitary plant. The second was for $6.6 million.
Alterations to Lincoln-Way Area Special Education building project
Village trustees also heard updates on the Lincoln-Way Area Special Education District 843 building project. The project slated for the Heather Glen subdivision off Laraway Road was scaled back to a make it more affordable. The bids for the planned 24,000-square-foot recreation center came in higher than anticipated, said Robin Ellis, village development director.
Consequently, the special education district sought permission to change-up some of the building materials. Ellis said she saw no problem with the proposed changes to the exterior, and the village board approved the project.
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