“The proposed FY24 Budget provides for critical investments in infrastructure, public safety and sustainability, while strategically planning for the long-term financial and economic health of the Village,” said Village Manager John Lockerby. “Although Village revenues are stable, the financial outlook for the U.S. economy remains uncertain. With this in mind, the proposed FY24 Budget continues to fund the Village Board’s priorities prudently while maintaining the outstanding municipal services and quality of life our residents expect.”
The proposed FY24 Budget is balanced and includes an operating General Fund budget of $66,212,902, which represents an increase of $2.5 million – or 4 percent – from Fiscal Year 2023. This increase is largely the result of contract increases for recycling, tree pruning, rodent control and refuse disposal as well as employee health insurance increases.
Highlights of the proposed FY24 Budget include:
- No increase in Village property tax for the 33rd consecutive year, remaining level at $15,456,695. The Village’s share of property tax bills has decreased from 16 percent in 1990 to just 6 percent as of 2022.
- Operational efficiencies, with 43.5 staff positions continuing to be held vacant, resulting in $3.55 million in annual savings. The proposed budget unfreezes three grant-funded firefighter positions, which were held vacant following financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and adds a sustainability coordinator position to support implementation of the Skokie Environmental Sustainability Plan.
- Investments in public safety, including funding for a Skokie Fire Department ambulance and fire rescue truck, police body-worn camera program and in-car video systems, and continuation of the co-responder team, a partnership between Skokie’s Police, Fire and Health and Human Services Departments to respond to calls involving mental health crisis.
- Investments in sustainability, including $147,000 for tree plantings (an increase of 75 percent from the year prior), funding for the purchase of one electric and three hybrid police vehicles; free compost drop-off as well as other compost incentives and education; water reduction, storm water and solar power consultation; and upgrades to electric-powered lawn maintenance equipment.
- Investments in infrastructure, with $18,955,112 designated for Village Capital Improvement Program (CIP) infrastructure projects, some of which are detailed below.
Planned Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Projects
Planned CIP projects commencing or continuing in FY24 include:
- Construction of Skokie Valley Trail multi-use path from Dempster Street to Golf Road and Old Orchard Road to the north Village limits
- CTA Station area improvements
- Village Green reconstruction and rain garden demonstration project
- Improvements to sections of Main Street, Howard Street, and Oakton Terrace
- Resurfacing 3.8 miles of residential streets
- Replacement of more than 7,000 linear feet of water main, rehabilitation of 4,000 linear feet of sewer main, 200 lead service line replacements, and flood control improvements
Water and sewer infrastructure improvements are supported by a proposed water rate increase of 7.5 percent – or $0.43 per 100 cubic feet. Despite the proposed increase, Skokie’s water rate would remain among the lowest in the area.
The Skokie Village Board will continue its review of the proposed FY24 Budget at upcoming public hearings:
- Tuesday, April 18, 6:15 p.m.
- Monday, April 24, 6:15 p.m.
All hearings will be in Village Hall, 5127 Oakton St., Conference Room D&E and are open to the public. The budget hearings also will be streamed live on the Village's YouTube page. The proposed FY24 Budget is available at Skokie.org/budget.