Northlake budget targets road repairs
Repaving of South Roy Avenue is one of the projects in Northlake's 2013 budget. | Mark Lawton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 28, 2013 3:37PM
NORTHLAKE — The city of Northlake plans to spend more than its share of Motor Fuel Tax money on capitol projects next year, according to the 2013 budget approved earlier this month.
In that budget, the city notes that it expects to receive about $400,000 in fuel-tax revenue but plans to spend $917,000 in fuel-tax money on several projects.
Those include repaving work on Hirsch Avenue, South Roy Avenue, South Roberta Avenue and installing a new traffic signal at Wolf Road and Winters Drive.
The total cost of those projects actually will reach into seven figures, Mayor Jeff Sherwin said. The fuel tax money will be used for the city’s share with the balance coming from the federal government through the Council of Mayors.
“There’s money available from the Council of Mayors, federal money,” Sherwin said. “It’s an 80/20 split on the projects, with the city paying 20. We decided to take advantage while its there. Who knows what will happen to federal money in 2014?”
To make up the difference between the $917,000 it wants to spend and the $400,000 it will get, the city is essentially spending ahead, using Motor Fuel Tax money it expects to receive in 2014.
If the city runs short in 2013, it will tap into a line of credit, Sherwin said.
The overall property tax levy request for 2013 is up a little more than 4 percent.
“We try to hold the line as tight as we can on the levy,” Sherwin said. He estimates that the city accounts for 11 percent of the total property tax bills residents get.
“The average resident pays $300 to $500 to the city of Northlake,” Sherwin said. “For $500 they’re getting police protection, street maintenance, parks maintained. Pretty good deal for $500.”
Total income for the city is expected to be about $14.2 million.
Unlike most neighboring towns, the largest chunk of the city’s revenue comes not from property taxes - $4.8 million - but from sales taxes, which are anticipated to be a little more than $5 million next year. Another $1 million comes from the city’s share of state income taxes.
The remainder comes from a variety of smaller sources including court fines, overweight truck fines, towing fees, billboard leases and so forth.
Residents can expect to see an increase in water rates in 2013. Northlake gets its water from Chicago, which is in the second of three consecutive years of raising its rates by 15 percent. In Northlake that means homeowners will pay $6.67 per 1,000 gallons of water, a roughly 10 percent increase.
The city does not plan to hire any staff in 2013, with the exception of a finance director. Sherwin hopes to have a new finance director by the end of February.
Revenue in the city’s three tax increment financing district has shrunk during 2010 – 1011, the most recent year reports are available. Sherwin said the city has sufficient reserves to make the bond payments.