Calculating a lesser property tax levy increase and proceeding with potential commercial recycling were some of the directions Mayor Harriet Rosenthal and the Village Board of Trustees gave Village Manager Kent Street and his staff at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.
After acting Finance Director Eric Burk told the Board the combined property tax levy for the Village and the Library of $10,140,832 would be more than five percent greater than a year ago, Trustee William Seiden asked why property taxes could not be frozen and reserves used instead.
“Why can’t we hold our levy in place? How far can we keep our levy down and remain in a sound financial position?” Seiden asked Burk. “I know people who have to move out of the Village because they can’t afford the increase.”
Rosenthal told Seiden and the other Trustees the Village would take a much closer look at expenses for the next fiscal year’s budget. “We’ll do a line by line analysis of the budget,” she said. “You know what you have to do,” she added directing Burk to reduce the levy as much as possible before it is put to a vote by the Board.
Commercial Recycling Gets Closer
The Village has been seeking input from the business community for the last six months to determine the benefits of employing one commercial waste hauler and making recycling mandatory. The program was conducted by Jenny Maltas, the assistant to Street.
“It’s an opportunity to reduce the number of trucks in town and increase recycling,” Maltas said. “It’s a win-win in the best spirit of sustainability.”
Based on the experiences of Highland Park and Highwood—both communities have gone to the system—local businesses should see a cost savings as well as more waste is recycled, according to Walter Willis, the executive director of the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.
Deerfield will develop a request for proposal to allow competing commercial haulers to bid on the Village’s contract. Once that is done, there must be a series of public hearings and a bidding process before any contact can be signed.
Trustees Give Direction on Other Subjects
The Trustees plan to take a closer look at installing charging stations for electric automobiles and study the use of robots to examine the condition of sewers to determine if repairs are necessary before a crisis lets the Village know.
There will also be a further examination of assigning a full time police officer from the Deerfield Police Department to Deerfield High School. If the move is made, the cost will be shared with Township High School District 113. Highland Park High School already has a person in that position.
The Board will also vote on an ordinance at an upcoming meeting to allow people to have chickens for the purpose of producing eggs. There will be no more than five permits allowed during the trial period.
Patch will have more detailed stories on these issues during the upcoming week.