The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors was presented with a draft budget Wednesday that will focus on drainage improvements and new maintenance equipment.
While the new maintenance equipment will be leased at a savings, the budget calls for an average assessment increase of approximately 3 percent.
ITID Finance Director Don Rinzel said district staff members are almost finished developing a comprehensive drainage plan for the community and prioritizing what needs to be done.
“This is going to be a 20-year process, but we’ve got to start somewhere,” Rinzel said.
ITID is developing an in-house canal improvement crew, and will continue to upgrade telemetry gates so they can be opened and closed more quickly, and without the need for workers to go out in inclement weather.
“While doing this, we will continue to have the same level of service that our residents expect, and be flexible enough in our budget to handle situations as they arise,” he said.
Maintenance and operations consumes 40 percent of the budget, and another 16 percent is debt, Rinzel said, pointing out that park bonds of about $120,000 will be paid off next year. Stormwater management takes 21 percent, and there is 10 percent in the parks budget and 13 percent in the administration budget.
The average assessment for all units will go up about $14, a little over 3 percent. For active units, the rate will go up about $18, or approximately 3.7 percent.
“These numbers are very similar to what it was six years ago,” Rinzel said. “We’ve been cutting, cutting, cutting, and we’re back here. It’s the first year we’ve gone up in about six years. There has been inflation and increased costs, and we’ve done our best to keep the budget in line and keep our costs in line.”
The average assessment will be about $478 per acre for the year, which breaks down to about $40 per month, Rinzel said.
Administrative costs went up about $80,000, mainly due to an increase in employee costs, primarily for professional staff, he said.
The parks budget will increase about $300,000, due primarily to two new positions that are being added because of the expansion of the park system, and capital improvements, such as lighting at Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park and the replacement of playground equipment, which he said had been put off the past two years.
The maintenance and operations budget will go up a little over $500,000, a 10.1 percent increase, due primarily to employee costs, he said, explaining that the department hopes to add four new positions, pending board approval.
The maintenance and operations department is also proposing to lease new pieces of maintenance equipment rather than purchase them as it has in the past.
“We want to lease four graders,” Rinzel said. “Our graders are over 10 years old. We contacted three vendors. We can rent a grader on a one-year lease for a little over $20,000 per grader, and we get a new grader each year. We will be responsible for the maintenance costs, but we feel that this is a great deal. Our graders are breaking down all the time. The cost of these will be lower than what we spend on repairs and maintenance.”
ITID will hold a public hearing on the draft budget on Wednesday, May 27 at 6 p.m. The supervisors will discuss the budget next month.