Hobart Happenings: Proposal and highlights for 2023 budget
By Janelle Fisher
HOBART – A presentation of the 2023 budget for the Village of Hobart was presented to the Village Board at its Nov. 1 meeting.
The total proposed property tax levy for 2023 is $3,288,151 — a 4.9% increase from 2021.
The projected mill rate would remain steady at last year’s rate of $3.63.
Highlights of the 2023 Hobart budget include:
• Adding a full-time position in the Public Works Department following a comprehensive study of the department’s workload and staffing.
• Eliminating the village’s subsidy for The Press Times subscriptions for residents.
• Increasing wages by 5% for all village staff, with exceptions for staff who already have a different employment agreement in place.
• Sticking with current garbage and recycling fees.
• Increasing the contingency fund by $56,395.79 — bringing it up to a total of $144,395.79 — to provide a buffer for inflationary and unexpected costs that may arise throughout the year.
A public hearing for the budget will be held at the village board’s Nov. 15 meeting, followed by the budget adoption that same evening.
Pulaski Community School District referendum passes
The Nov. 8 ballot for voters served by the Pulaski Community School District featured two referendum questions, both of which have been approved.
Question one, which would allow the district a $1,500,000 operating referendum increasing annually to $1,900,000 to invest in retaining staff and supporting and maintaining programs and additional spaces, had 6,023 votes in favor and 5,261 opposed.
“Thank you to the Pulaski community for the support on the operational question, which allows us to attract and retain high-quality staff and educators for our district with competitive compensation to support our 3,800 plus students,” Superintendent Allison Space said. “We also appreciate the commitment to providing support for our district growth, capacity concerns and building needs for safety, security, and maintenance.”
Question two, which allows the district to invest up to $69,800,000 to address needs across the district, had 6,605 votes in favor and 4,641 opposed.
With the passing of the referendum, funding will be available for several major projects identified through two years of facilities planning, including a facilities assessment, a community survey and several community engagement sessions.
Renovations and expansions are in store for Sunnyside and Hillcrest elementary schools to increase capacity and address increasing enrollment in the district.
“The passing of the referendum provides us with the opportunity to support the growth that is occurring within our elementary schools, working on our aging buildings, safety and security and other updates.” said Mark Logan, director of business services for the district.
Several projects will be carried out to address safety and security in the district’s aging buildings, including replacing and updating heating, ventilation and electrical systems, replacing asphalt parking lots and hard-surface play areas and reconfiguring bus and car pick-up/drop-off areas.
Interior and exterior building finishes will also be updated and the high school’s career and technical education spaces will be expanded.