Village board looks at 2018 finances
By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – The Hobart village board learned at its Tuesday, March 19 meeting the village turned a profit in 2018 – 53 cents.
“Obviously that’s out of a $3.6 million budget,” said Village Administrator Aaron Kramer. “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but you want your budgets to break even – that’s your ultimate goal.”
Kramer updated the board on the 2018 village finances in preparation for an upcoming April audit.
“We have almost exactly the amount of money in our reserve account, or rainy day fund, that’s required by village board policy, so that is good,” he said.
According to policy, the amount in the reserve fund needs to be maintained at 30 percent of the general fund.
Kramer said the reserve fund is at roughly $1,060,000, or $232 above what is required by village policy.
Other areas of the village’s finances are positive as well.
“We have adequate reserve amounts in our capital fund, our water fund, virtually all of our funds outside the general fund have adequate reserves, so we’re happy with that,” he said.
Kramer said the general fund is “in good shape” with a little more than $1 million in reserves.
He said this means the village is in a strong position to continue to provide services and complete projects.
“I think the important thing to pull out of the numbers is we have healthy reserves,” Kramer said. “We’re still getting a lot of capital projects done, we haven’t raised the mill rate for the past two years, and we’re in a good position to start looking ahead toward new buildings, such as a fire station, and continuing our aggressive road replacement program.”
The board also learned about efforts to increase the safety of roads near Hillcrest Elementary School.
Two weeks ago the Public Works Committee received a series of proposed improvements in the front of the school.
Those include a sidewalk for students to take directly to the school and wider turn lanes on Hillcrest.
The price tag for the improvements ranged anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000.
“Obviously that’s a large amount of money we haven’t budgeted at the current time,” Kramer said. “So the committee has decided to slow down and to try and collect data.”
The village will continue to work with the Pulaski Community School District to gather information on improvements.
Kramer also updated the board on Gov. Tony Evers proposed budget, but told them not to be too optimistic.
“The governor’s budget has some interesting proposals which are positive for communities like Hobart, as far as governmental operations,” he said. “Again, it’s a budget. I’m virtually certain the final product that comes out at the end of this process will look different in many aspects after the Legislature gets its hands on it.”
Finally, the board approved Trustee Dave Dillenburg as the second signatory on village documents and checks in the absence of Rich Heidel, village president.