The Litchfield Park City Council approved its $45.2 million tentative budget for fiscal year 2022, and it’s more than double the 2021 budget of $19.75 million.
“Our operating costs are up 19%, but that’s mostly related to the increase to public safety. Our capital budget, that’s at $31 million, but that includes the $26 million for the City Center,” said Paige Peterson, Litchfield Park’s finance director, during the July 7 meeting.
Peterson confirmed that the construction of the City Center takes up a large portion of the budget.
“You can see our total budget is $45.2 million, but that’s because this does include $26 million for the city center, as well as the debt payment of approximately $780,000. So that’s the reason for the big jump from $19.7 last year,” she said.
The City Center design was announced in February 2020. The facility will serve as a central hub in Litchfield Park’s downtown area, north of Wigwam Boulevard between North Litchfield and North Old Litchfield roads.
The area consists of 33.5 acres, including the 4-acre City Center Park. According to the EPS Group, the multidisciplinary professional consulting firm providing land development and public works civil engineering, the new City Center will be home to the next generation of business growth as well as entertainment destinations for Litchfield Park and surrounding areas.
The space is designated for commercial, office, retail and mixed-use developments. The project is expected to be completed within four years.
The 2022 budget has two contingencies, Peterson pointed out in her presentation to council.
“There’s two contingencies lines here on the $2,480,000 that I put in there in case any of the landfill. We’d be able to use the funds from any of the landfills, and then just another million in contingency. The grand total budget, $45.2 million less or exclusions, and then we’re subject to $20.2 million expenditure limit,” Peterson said.
In terms of the expenditure limit, it’s also more than double compared to the previous budget.
“Our expenditure limitation is $20.3 million, but we can exclude $25 million from this $45 million. So the amount that will actually be subject to the expenditure limit is $20.2 million,” Peterson said.
“To quickly go over what we can exclude that this $25 million makes up is the $22 million in bonds, $1.1 million HURF (highway user revenue fund), $1.1 million in debt payments — that’s the existing debt we have — and also assuming we’ll have a City Center debt payment and then federal funds are excludable, which is the $800,000 ARP fund,” she said.
The 2022 budget increase from 2021 follows the increase from the 2020 budget, however, on a much smaller scale.
The 2021 budget reflected a 4% increase over 2020, which relied on reserves and contingency funds to compensate for the revenue loss during the pandemic.
The budget for fiscal year 2022 is expected to formally be adopted by the city council on July 21.
To view the FY2022 approved budget, visit litchfield-park.org/696/