City Council approved the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2017). The total expenses for all funds (operating and capital expenditures) prior to eliminating interfund transfers, are $311.4 million.

If interfund transfers (which can result in double-counting) are eliminated, the total proposed expenses for all funds in 2017 is $246.9 million, almost 2% less than in 2016.

The total budget for the General Fund, the City’s main operating fund, is $118.8 million in revenues and $118.7 million in expenses, leaving a surplus of $92,641.

There are increases in three taxes or fees that may impact residents:

• There will be a property tax increase in the amount of $930,152, or a 2.38% increase in the City’s share of property taxes. For a home with a market value of $400,000, the impact will be about $46 per year according to budget documents.

• Month parking fees for parking lots will go up $10 per month. A proposal to generate additional funding by making all parking meters operational from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. was put on hold until staff can develop a proposal that meets the needs of local businesses.

• The budget builds in a 6% increase in the City Water Rate, which is “completely offset by a 3% decrease in the City’s Sewer Rate,” said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.

One significant change since the last meeting, is that staff recommended allocating funds from certain capital projects to repair roofs and masonry at the Fog Houses at Lighthouse Beach Park, at a cost of about $400,000.

There is still no proposed allocation of the $1.2 million in waste transfer fees, and no proposal on how to spend about $250,000 budgeted to repair the Harley Clarke Mansion.

For more in-depth coverage of the proposed budget and discussions on various budget issues, see articles in the Oct. 20, Nov. 3, and Nov. 17 issues of the RoundTable.

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...