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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1 Comment

  1. IMO……furloughs are fine..

    IMO……furloughs are fine……every employee should be able to deal with that issue.  People should be glad to have the jobs and benefits that they have….a few years ago, employees had 2-3 furlough days to take.  I believe that some of the centers are open on Dec. 31…part of the day, and even have activities on the 1st…..on Dec. 24, areas are open…and that's a holiday, which means a lot of OT pay…..maybe that should be looked into as well.

    Fines:  Evanston shoppers are notorious for double parking, and parking in areas NOT for parking!

    I wonder how many tickets are given out to people using their cell phones while driving.   I see LOTS of drivers still on their phones…..I know it's a hard task and not as vital as actually going after criminal activity:  maybe that fine should be made higher…..If citizens could write tickets when we see people doing that, I guarantee a lot of extra revenue would be made….(but not feasible….)  It's just irritating to see how many people don't pay attention to the safety issue of that….and don't seem to care about rules.   

    Last:   do police actually get to ticket bicyclists who zip through stop signs and lights, and  don't signal?  LOTS  of that going on as well…..I know..the police do a GREAT job, and have other pressing issues…it's not their fault, and they can't be everywhere…..just a thought on ticketing for those who feel they don't need to follow rules, and can cause accidents…

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