As the 2011-12 fiscal year comes to a close, the Deerfield Park District plans to increase its next tax levy by roughly 0.79 percent once additional savings are found.
The total levy is projected at roughly $6.08 million, about $53,000 greater than last fiscal year, according to Park District Executive Director Rick Julison.
“What we've been striving for, for years, is keeping [the tax levy] as even as we can,” Julison said. “We don't try to bring it up or down or anything else.”
With an operating budget of roughly $11 million and a balanced budget overall, the Park District will continue to follow its five-year financial plan when considering any service, staffing or project changes, according to Julison.
One such project, now entering its second year, is the development of Woodland Park, which bears a $1.4 million price tag, none of which has been funded with grant money.
“We tried for a grant in 2010, and we were turned down,” Julison said. “That's why we spread the project out for two years, so we could afford to do it on our own.”
When complete, the 15-acre lot, previously a school site, will have more accessible features and a greener spread, including a rain garden, porous parking lot, with a 136-car capacity, new washroom facility and trail system connecting existing baseball field diamonds.
“Between outdoor parks and recreations, all the way down to athletic programs,” Julison said. “I think we have a variety of services for everybody.”
And though he can't fully speculate on the economy, Julison does not see park district services taking a hit in the long run.
“I think we offer enough amenities that if people have to come back,” Julison said. “(The amenities) are right here, around us, and people can take advantage of them without having to travel.”