Evanston aldermen tonight will be told the city is in “stable” financial condition and they’ll be asked to make some additions to the city’s spending plan for the year.

The city’s chief financial officer, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons, will report that as of the end of March revenues remained “relatively consistent with budget targets” and expenditures were “being held below budgeted levels.”

In terms of cash on hand, the city is 60 percent better off than at the same point last year — with a cash balance of $13.6 million at the end of March this year, compared to $8.5 million at the same point in 2011.

So Lyons and City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz are proposing that the city draw down its general fund reserves by $1.75 million by transfering $1.25 million to the capital improvement fund and $500,000 to the equipment replacement fund.

They also propose spending $1.5 million from the fund balance of the Howard-Hartrey tax increment finance find for streetscape improvements around the shopping center site and distributing $1.3 million from the TIF balance to local taxing districts as that TIF nears the end of its scheduled life.

The streetcape improvements would include sidewalks and pedestrian lighting along Hartrey Avenue and the access drive parallel to it and two new bus shelters and pedestrian bumpouts along Howard Street.

They also call for increasing spending from the Howard-Ridge TIF fund from $430,000 to $900,000 for improvements to city-owned buildings in the district.

The money transferred from the general fund to the capital improvement fund will be spent on a variety of street paving projects and street light power center upgrades. Other new CIP spending would repair the roof of the Noyes Cultural Arts Center and add new streetlights along the AMLI apartment development now under construction at Chicago Avenue and Kedzie Street.

Spending from the equipment replacement fund would increase by $1.1 million for additional vehicle purchases. In addition to the $500,000 transfered from general fund reserves, the other $600,000 would be spent from the equipment replacement fund’s existing reserves.

Lyons says no new revenue is proposed or needed to fund the spending changes.

Related documents

First quarter financial report

Budget amendment resolution

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Spending clarification

    Can anyone point to where the additional $470,000 is planned to be used per the agenda?

    Here is the specific reference. I'd just like to know what we are spending the money on.

    "Howard-Ridge TIF Fund – The proposed FY 2012 Budget Amendment would
    increase the Howard-Ridge TIF Fund expenditures by $470,000 for capital
    projects. The adopted FY 2012 CIP included $430,000 for economic
    development projects in the Howard-Ridge TIF. The proposed amendment
    would replace this item with the project “CIP Improvements on City Owned
    Buildings” in the amount of $900,000."

    1. The hidden budget

      The money is going to be used for the economic misadventure on Howard street.   That is for the Theater project and the wine and cheese bar.  Why should we pay for this nonsense?   One explaination is its TIF money,  this is a myth that public officials like to use, to justify their wasteful habits.

      TIF money is the so called increment, that the taxes have increased after the TIF was put in place.  That increment, is basically being stole from the other taxing bodies, such as District 65.  Given much of the TIF spending is pure waste, such as the Wine and Cheese Bar and Theater, this is of no value to the public.

      At the economic development committee meeting I asked them if they are tracking their so called projects?

      One public official claimed I should point out any projects that failed, they do not want to track these projects, they simple want to have the ability to keep on spending our money with no accountability.

      When you look at the line items in the budget what you start to quickly notice is they are  hiding the real spending, that is how they are actually using the funds, the shell game transfers, are just another way to keep the ship afloat,

      Wallys adjusted budget is nothing more than a game to justify some of his recent economic misadvertures.

  2. WOW

    What a surprise. Wally has extra money that is burning a hole in his pocket. How about lowering property tax increases for the people of Evanston.

    Remember this when later in the year, the budget falls short when some emergency requires some additional spending. Will Wally take the money out of his budget or will he increase taxes, fines, or fees to meet the need.

  3. LOL Wally claims he solved the Structural budget Problem!

    We should all be waiting for the large property tax increase which is about to come.

    1) 1.4 million dollar screw up on yard waste stickers increased our taxes almost 3% this is now built into the budget, this is a Wally screw up.( his staff)

    2) $900,000 for Howard street projects which will fail pure waste for a wine and cheese bar no one will go to, and arts theater few will patronize.

    3) excessive fund transfer, out of the water and sewer funds -take a good look the utilities department is doing no where near the work they are funding- that is the funds are being diverted to the general fund try $3 million plus and the Utilties department appears to be over estimating projects, that is doing even less.

    4) The recent Trader Joes deal is interesting the parking fund again shows a 3 million dollar negative, not what they present the night they passed the project at council, they used a different spread sheet, it did not show any negative. 

    5) I do not see the 4 million dollar repayed from the parking fund to  the sewer fund they claimed would happen.

    I can't wait for are less than competent council to raise their pay again, on top of this.

    Wally projects every thing is fine and we are on budget, he did not answer my question at a recent council meeting – that is what would be next years effective tax increase. Everything is fine? , lets keep on spending – the budget numbers don't look that good , look at many of the fees and fines , they are not collecting what they were budgeted, most of the funds are soft at best- So what is it another 8% Wally? 


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