Evanston city officials are looking to furlough days, fine increases and a hiring freeze to close an anticipated revenue shortfall as they also ponder what further cuts may be needed once the state gets around to adopting its budget.

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons and other officials told aldermen this week that, unless changes are made, they anticipate the city’s general fund budget will end up with a deficit of nearly $600,000 on spending of $91.4 million — assuming no new cuts from Springfield.

To deal with that they plan to ask aldermen at the City Council’s Aug. 31 meeting for steps including:

  • A one-day furough of city workers on Dec. 31, expected to save $115,000:
  • An increase in parking citation fines that could bring in $160,000 by year’s end.
  • A hiring freeze effective from Sept. 1 through year’s end expected to save $350,000

With those and other changes the officials hope to keep the general fund balance from dropping below the level of two months of reserves required by the council’s budget policy.

New permeable paving in the Civic Center parking lot — one of this year’s capital improvement projects..

Lyons says it appears the city will only spend about $30 million of the $44 million budgeted for capital improvement projects this year — because some large projects have been postponed.

But he said about 80 percent of 71 projects are on schedule to be completed by the end of the year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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