YORKVILLE – During the Great Recession 13 years ago, the city of Yorkville faced some tough times.
The city’s operating budget was awash in red ink and there was no choice but to reduce staff.
“The city was at the valley of its fiscal distress, struggling to make vendor payments on time,” City Administrator Bart Olson told the Yorkville City Council on March 14.
One of the positions eliminated during those hard times was that of a planner in the Community Development Department.
Now, with a building boom of residential and commercial development, the role of a planner who makes sure construction projects are properly designed and built is more important that ever.
That’s why the city’s proposed annual budget includes hiring a planner as one of several additions.
It’s part of a balanced $23 million general fund budget for fiscal 2024, which begins May 1. Aldermen are expected to approve the spending plan in April. The city is budgeting $65,000 for the new planner, Finance Director Rob Fredrickson said.
The city currently has 87 employees, including the 33 sworn officers of the Yorkville Police Department. The police force only recently reached that authorized level, so there are no additional patrol officers included in this year’s budget.
However, the city’s five-year plan calls for an additional officer in each of fiscal 2025, 2027 and 2028.
For the coming budget year, the spending plan includes $50,000 for a new police training coordinator, a post to be shared with the the Oswego Police Department.
Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen said the training coordinator will handle the scheduling and monitor training activities for both departments. The new post will help free up both of Yorkville’s two deputy chiefs and a sergeant who currently handle this responsibility.
As the city continues to grow, there are more and more customers for city water, sewer and garbage pickup service.
The proposed budget includes $55,000 for an accountant in the city’s Utility Billing Department. The city has been sharing a facilities manager post with the village of Oswego. With both municipalities growing at a rapid pace, each of the communities will have its own manager.
Yorkville is budgeting $100,000 for a full-time manager for the city’s building and grounds.
The budget also includes two part-time seasonal Street Department employees, at 1,000 hours per year each.