Litchfield Park Meeting

On June 17, Mayor Thomas Schoaf and the Litchfield Park City Council unanimously adopted the 2020-21 fiscal year budget that took effect July 1.

The $19.7 million budget is slightly less than a 4% increase over the 2019-20 budget of $19 million.

At $9 million, the capital projects fund is the largest part of the city’s budget, a 10% increase over last year’s budget. This includes new construction, renovations and expansions of city infrastructure and facilities.

The general fund portion of the city’s budget, which includes building safety, public safety and special events, is $8.8 million, a slight 0.3% increase over last year’s budget.“We’re going to move forward cautiously to make sure that our revenues stay in check,” said Bill Stephens, the Litchfield Park city manager.

Pay raises and construction projects are up in the air because of COVID-19, explained Stephens.

“They’re on a contingency hold. They weren’t canceled, but they’re available so when the council feels reassured that COVID-19 isn’t devastating our budget, they can bring those funds as needed out of that contingency and we can actually keep the funding to either get pay raises or complete projects at cetera,” said Stephens.

Totaling at $14.7 million, a 4% decrease from 2019-20, are revenues other than property taxes. These revenues include sales tax which is estimated to be $7 million in the coming year.

“To ensure we don’t overspend, we’re waiting month to month,” added Stephens.

Also adopted in the meeting was a five-year (2021-25) Capital Improvement Plan. The 2020-21 portion of the $28 million total is $9 million. The plan includes public and recreation centers to be maintained, city walls and roads to be built and repaired, and Litchfield Park’s planned City Center.

The final topic of the meeting was the adoption of the Street Light Improvement District (SLID) 2021 budget. SLID will be implemented into three parts. Two will be in the Village at Litchfield Park neighborhood. 

The third will include the Wigwam Resort, central businesses and many central residences.