Hales Corners — Like most of its neighbors, the village faces a funding gap for the 2010 budget.
Also not unlike its neighbors, officials will seriously have to look at layoffs, salary freezes and furloughs.
"I don't see how we put the 2010 budget together without touching that," Village Administrator Mike Weber said. "We have really tough spending decisions to make."
The village faces about a $280,000 shortfall heading into next year, Weber told village trustees in a Sept. 23 meeting. He cautioned that all projections are preliminary and there are still many unknowns.
The village has about two months until the budget needs to be adopted.
About $1.2 million sits in the city's reserves, also referred to as the "rainy day fund." However, with interest rates and the economy unpredictable, it may be hard to justify a budget shortfall as a true emergency, Weber said.
Officials are considering minor ways to save money, such as approaching bargaining units to change health insurance policies, but those are unlikely to completely resolve the village's budget problems.
A deputy clerk position has so far remained unfilled, but Weber said he can't recommend leaving it vacant because it would hinder village services.
On the other hand, the village doesn't have a free hand to increase revenue through taxes. Under state law, the village can only raise the property tax levy by 3 percent over last year's levy.
"I'm concerned there will be a significant budget gap to deal with in 2010," Weber said.
- Mark Schaaf
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