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Council poised to adopt $360 million city budget

No property tax increase proposed for 2022 -- but staff says new revenue will be needed to maintain proposed staffing levels in future years.

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The Evanston Civic Center.

Evanston’s City Council is scheduled to give final approval Monday night to a $360 million city budget for 2022 that features no change in the property tax levy but a $54 million increase in spending from this year’s budget.

More than half the proposed spending increase, some $30 million, is coming from money the city has or will receive from the federal American Rescue Plan Act designed to help communities recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of the rest represents increases in spending on capital improvement project and the city’s water utility.

The latest version of the budget proposal from city staff calls for filling 23.5 full-time equivalent positions that were held vacant this year and adding 12.25 new positions. But Interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski is proposing to not fill nine of the positions until mid-year.

City officials say that while the 2022 budget doesn’t require a property tax levy increase, the city faces deficits in future years starting at $2.7 million in 2023 if it doesn’t find additional revenue sources.

Just five of the nine alderpersons voted in favor of introducing the budget two weeks ago.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

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