CHANNAHON – Channahon is hiring two replacement police officers this month, and the first one was sworn in during Monday evening’s Channahon village board meeting.
Zachary Entwistle of Morris is finishing up a criminal justice degree at Illinois Valley Community College. He also is in the Illinois National Guard and has served overseas in Korea. Entwistle is currently employed as a construction laborer.
While he was a student at Morris Community High School, he also was a member of the Channahon Police Cadet Program.
Channahon police Chief Jeff Wold told the village board Entwistle was the top candidate for the position after taking a written test a psychological test, a polygraph, a power test, medical examinations, and going through the interview process.
A second officer will be sworn in at the village board’s March 17 meeting.
Also this week, Finance Director Bob Guess gave trustees an overview of several budget-related items, leading up to the presentation of the new budget later this spring.
The number of personnel in the village will continue as status quo, he said. There will be no new positions created and no increase in the village’s portion of property taxes.
The current fiscal year, which ends in April, will see an approximate surplus of $406,505 in the village’s general operating fund, Guess said.
This will be the third year in a row the village will have an operating budget surplus.
The total property tax level will be up about $60,000 over last year, and most of that will go into insurance fees. The equalized assessed value is estimated to drop about $20 million from last year.
Additionally, the state income tax that goes to the village will be about $8,000 more next year than this year, Guess said.
The tax is based on the number of residents. Channahon’s population is 12,560, and the village will see $97.80 per capita from that tax.
There was a large increase in the winter operations budget this year, Public Works Director Ed Dolezol told the board. The high snow totals increased overtime 180 percent more than was budgeted.
One correction Guess made was in the amount of sewer rate increases residents will see in the upcoming fiscal year.
The sewer fund is in the red, and the village plans on increasing fees for the next three years to make up for the recurring deficit.
There is currently a $487,000 deficit in the fund, with a $658,000 deficit projected.
Last week, Guess estimated the increases would average $3.70 a month. That figure will more likely be an increase of an average of $1.80 a month, he said.
Director of Community Development, Mike McMahon, gave a summary of housing in the village during 2013. Only eight new housing units were given building permits through the year, he said, which is a slight increase over the three in 2012. The average single-family home sale price last year was $199,630, up from $190,947 in 2012.