Waterloo to approve budget
The Waterloo City Council is expected to approve a new fiscal year budget for the city during its Monday night meeting at City Hall.
For the fiscal year starting May 1, the City of Waterloo is projecting estimated revenue of $51.8 million and estimated expenditures at $49.8 million to be operating at $2 million in the black.
For the 2021-22 fiscal year ending April 30, Waterloo budgeted $32.7 million in receipts compared to $31.4 in expenses.
The new budget calls for a 58 percent increase in expenditures from the current fiscal year – the biggest factor being a 236 percent increase in “capital outlay.”
This is primarily due to Moore Street, Morrison Avenue and other large street projects as well as expenses related to construction of a new water treatment plant and water tower.
Waterloo was recently approved for an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loan for the water treatment plant and water tower project.
“In addition, the funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act will be allocated toward the water tower project,” Waterloo budget director Shawn Kennedy said.
Kennedy explained that estimated receipts in the upcoming fiscal year budget includes $6.2 million in transfers from invested funds, $700,000 million in transfers from other funds and $15.2 million of proceeds from the IEPA loan.
“Excluding these transfers from invested funds and other funds, we are estimating a 4.6 percent increase in receipts overall,” she said.
As for disbursements in the proposed budget, the water treatment plant and water tower projects account for $16.6 million in estimated disbursements in the upcoming fiscal year budget.
Street projects account for $4 million of the estimated expenditures.
“These street projects are funded from the city’s invested funds in the general fund, local Rebuild Illinois bond program, and local surface transportation program,” Kennedy said.
For budgeted general fund revenue, Waterloo projects a 16 percent increase in sales tax.
Kennedy said this increase is partially attributed to “The Leveling the Playing Field Retail Act,” which requires remote sellers and marketplace facilitators to collect and remit the state and locally-imposed Retailers’ Occupation Tax for the jurisdictions where the product is delivered (destination sourcing) rather than collecting and remitting solely the state use tax.
“Shopping locally is also a factor that plays into the increase in budgeted sales tax,” she said.
As for general fund expenses, a 41 percent budgeted increase in the city’s street department is a direct result of the significant road projects planned in the coming fiscal year, Kennedy said.
Upon the approval of last year’s budget, Waterloo had more than $30 million in reserves, which includes invested funds and funds committed to certain departments or accounts per state statute.
Kennedy said the city estimates to reduce its reserves by approximately $5 million “if all projects are completed and disbursed in the current fiscal year.”
To view the budget as proposed, visit waterloo.il.us/city-government/finance.
In other city news, Scooter’s Coffee, a Midwest-based drive-thru coffee franchise, will break ground Thursday afternoon on its new location being built off Route 3 at Plaza Drive south of Schnucks.
The last remaining hurdle for Scooter’s at the city level was the approval of a special signage request.
The Waterloo Zoning Board of Appeals approved a request by Scooter’s in February for 65.4 square feet of signage, which is slightly more that the 55 square feet allowable for a building its size.
Included in the approved signage for Scooter’s was 31.4 square feet total for two channel letters, 20.7 square feet for three sign panels, and 13.3 square feet for one logo.