Evanston’s City Council holds a public hearing Monday night a new city budget that calls for a 13% increase in spending.
The record $449 million budget also calls for a 7.9% increase in property taxes.
The Council won’t vote on the budget Monday night.
But it is scheduled to vote on several fee increases called for in the budget — including a one-third boost in ambulance rates, 7.5% increases in sanitation service charges for 2024 and 2025 and a 17.5% increase in water rates.
The proposed budget calls for spending down the city’s budget reserves by $10 million next year, and exhausting the so-called “excess reserves” by 2026.
The new budget would increase the city’s staff size to levels not seen in nearly two decades, and so far the Council has shown no appetite for spending cuts.
Next Monday, Oct. 30, the Council is scheduled to begin its debate on Northwestern University’s plan to rebuild Ryan Field.
While the overall economic benefit of the new stadium has been hotly debated, one reasonably assured gain is about $11 million in building permit fee revenue for the city.
That’s income — not anticipated in the proposed 2024 budget — that would significantly ease next year’s city budget crunch.
Spread over a two-year construction time frame, stadium building permit fee revenue would more than match the $4.3 million a year the city hopes to raise from the proposed property tax increase.
Whether that will influence any votes on the Council about the stadium project remains to be seen.
Monday’s Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center.