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Channahon’s budget prepares for point-of-sale revenue loss

CHANNAHON – The village’s 2014-2015 budget was approved Monday with significantly less revenue in its capital fund in order for the village to prepare for the potential loss of point-of-sale dollars.

Channahon trustees held a public hearing and then unanimously approved the budget. Revenues were budgeted at $20.97 million and expenses at $21.76 million, and the village will maintain its goal of keeping a 40 to 50 percent fund balance reserve.

The general operating budget should have a surplus of $42,076, with no reserves being used for its expenses. Finance Director Bob Guess told the board this is the third year of the recession that the village has not had to dip into its reserves to pay for these expenditures.

The revenues into the capital fund, however, will be significantly less than expenses, as no dollars from the village’s sales tax rebate program are included in the budget. Since 1999, the village has been involved in a sales tax rebate program where several businesses use Channahon as a point-of-sale location to take advantage of a lower sales tax.

Now Channahon and other municipalities throughout the state are being sued by the Regional Transit Authority for using taxing strategies that enticed companies to open small purchasing offices within Grundy County for their low rate.

State regulators are reviewing the program, urged on by taxing bodies in the Chicago area that contend Channahon is getting tax revenue off sales made in Cook County.

Channahon brings in an average of about $1.5 million a year through the sales tax rebate program.

In Guess’s statement to the board, he said that how the point-of-sale issue will be resolved will have a major impact on Channahon’s capital program next year and the following years.

Conservative budgeting also is necessary, Guess said, because of the state’s financial crisis.

Dollars are budgeted in the upcoming year for road projects on Yellow Pine Drive, Brookfield Lane, Brookfield Court, Cobblestone Lane and Squire Lane. Server upgrades, as well as replacement of 13 computers, also are planned.

The village will upgrade the village hall’s phone system, begin its ash tree replacement program, conduct a riverwalk study, complete the Route 6/Interstate 55 study, collaborate with the park district for new village signage, conduct a westside water and sewer feasibility analysis and acquire three replacement squad cars.

Also in the budget are dollars for police needs, including the replacement of Taser equipment, purchasing patrol bikes and purchasing new vests. Other budgeted projects include replacing equipment on salt spreaders, purchasing a replacement truck, maintaining the bike path and planting parkway trees in Hunters Crossing, among others.

In other news, the board approved three requests from the police department. One was the purchase of a replacement Dodge Charger police squad car for $25,313. The police department’s squad was totaled after being rear-ended by another vehicle.

The officer was out of the vehicle at the time, and the car was legally parked, Police Chief Jeff Wold said.

The other driver’s insurance reimbursed the village for the purchase price of the damaged car, the cost to remove and reinstall equipment, and the cost to apply new graphics.

Also approved by trustees was the purchase of nine mobile data computer systems for the village’s police cars at a cost of $31,981. The units were needed, Wold said, due to Will County 911 switching to a new computer-aided dispatch system that is incompatible with the cars’ current technology.

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