While Hoffman Estates' 2019 budget may not reflect any changes to the community as big as the proposed private redevelopment of the former AT&T campus promises to be, it does include the planning for the village's 60th anniversary events during the year.
The village board recently approved a 1.5 percent increase to the property tax levy, which is entirely due to the rising cost of police and firefighter pensions, Village Manager Jim Norris said.
A high amount of anticipated turnover in the police and fire departments is also triggering an increase of $40,950 for the Fire & Police Commission's promotional testing as well as medical and psychological testing for new hires.
Negotiation of a new contract with the police department's patrol officers union is also scheduled for 2019.
The village has budgeted $25,000 for the activities of its new 60th Anniversary Commission.
Total budgeted spending for the year of $135.6 million represents a 3.1 percent increase from the 2018 budget. This includes a 3 percent increase in employee pay, a 4.5 percent increase in benefits, and an 11.9 percent increase in miscellaneous employee expenses due to such costs of replacing retirees as training and new uniforms.
Anticipated revenues of $130.9 million are 2.1 percent more than budgeted in 2018. Among the expected increases are 7.9 percent in licenses and permits for increased development activity.
Some initial building permits are expected during 2019 for New Jersey-based Somerset development's transformation of the vacant AT&T office campus into a self-contained community of businesses and multifamily housing. But the build-out of that project is anticipated to take multiple years and the village has always been conservative in estimating future building permits, Norris said.
The village plans continued support of marketing efforts at the Sears Centre Arena where the Windy City Bulls have begun their third season, a Hoffman Estates Night there on Nov. 2, and integration of more events at the outdoor Village Green under the arena's management.
As in recent years, Hoffman Estates plans to concentrate heavily on infrastructure projects in 2019, Norris said.
Priorities include $6.2 million to reconstruct four street segments and resurface 30 more, bicycle paths on Central Road and under the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway at Shoe Factory Road, as well as more water and sewer improvements.