Creative Budgeting

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Rockford City Aldermen put their heads together Saturday to balance next year’s budget. Their goal was to try to find a revenue source without borrowing more money. There were serious discussions by some members of the Rockford City Council Saturday afternoon. City council members challenged the Mayor’s office to get creative to fund the purchase of new city vehicles.

In the past few weeks, Rockford City Council members have been looking at ways to streamline the Mayors budget. Saturday, they looked into how to find alternative ways to pay for capital improvements. The city of Rockford has a projected a budget deficit of nearly $2.5 million. That deficit is expected to be made up by a variety of spending cuts, but the mayor's proposed budget also includes borrowing $4.5 million in bond money to purchase new city vehicles. Several City Council Members want the city to look into other ways to pay for them.

Those ideas include:

1. Increasing the amount of waterfront tickets by a dollar. That could bring in an extra $75,000.

2. Force every resident to purchase a city vehicle sticker. Right now barely half of Rockford residents do. This could bring in a significant amount of revenue.

3. Increasing parking fines.

4. Look at corporate sponsorships on city vehicles

These creative alternatives won't cover the entire amount of capital improvements the city is looking to add. It could reduce the amount the city will have to borrow. These ideas will now be turned over to the mayor’s office for his consideration.