Elburn passes budget that includes plan for expanded village hall, police cameras

Elburn police car

The Elburn Village Board passed the village’s budget for fiscal year 2024-25 on April 1, after a public hearing that elicited no comments. The tentative budget had been available for viewing on the village’s website since March 19.

Elburn’s Finance Director Doug Elder had highlighted several items of note in the budget in previous meetings, including the creation of a separate fund to track the revenues and expenditures related to the expansion of the village hall building to accommodate the growth needs of the village and the police department.

The plan, with a cost of $6 million, will be paid for through bonds purchased by the village, and will be paid back with an annual payment of $469,000 over the course of 20 years. The $2.9 million in the expenditure side of the budget is what is expected to be spent in the next fiscal year.

With the choice of the less expensive plan for the police building expansion, the village is able to continue the annual street maintenance expenditure of $1 million to keep the streets on a 20-year cycle of maintenance.

Elburn Police Chief Nick Sikora was the first officer on scene when the bus of 38 asylum seekers arrived at the Metra station Dec. 22, 2023. Thirty-two got on the train, while four were picked up by family.

While the village awaits the state’s decision on passing a permanent elimination of the grocery tax proposed by Gov. JB Pritzker, the expected revenue of $118,000 was eliminated from the budget.

In the event that the permanent elimination of the grocery tax does not pass, the $118,000 will be added back into the budget.

The village will receive a $446,000 OSLAD (Open Space Land Acquisition and Development) state grant this year, which provides a 50/50 match. The money will be used to purchase updated playground equipment, including more that are appropriate for younger children and accessible for every child; a bandshell; workout stations with fitness equipment; and a looped walking trail, which will be built where the old one used to be.

The improvements are expected to be completed by July 15, 2025, in time for the annual Run with the Rails race and Elburn Days.

The police budget includes $40,000 for equipment expenses, which will include the purchase of body cameras for the officers and vehicle cameras for their cars. Chief Nick Sikora said he is applying for a grant that he hopes will assist the village in this purchase.

The property taxes residents pay to the village cover items such as the salaries and benefits of village employees, police protection, street and sidewalk maintenance, snow plowing, and administration.

Property taxes make up 26 percent of the village’s revenue, while sales taxes makes up 37 percent, and permits, fines and fees make up 11 percent of the village’s revenue.

The owner of a $250,000 home will pay an estimated $334 for 2023 taxes payable to the village in 2024, compared with $349 for 2022 paid in 2023. Elburn’s Finance Director Doug Elder explained that this is due, in part, to a recent 13 percent growth in the village’s equalized assessed value, which means that the tax amount will be spread out among an increased number of households.