Rockford Park District Presents Balanced Budget; Eliminating Over $2 Million in 2013 Budget

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Park District presented the 2013 Budget and Appropriation Ordinance and Certification of Estimates of Revenue to the Board of Commissioners tonight for initial review and discussion. The Board also received the 2012 Tax Levy Ordinance for consideration prior to the publishing of the 2012 Notice of Proposed Property Tax Increase this month.

The Park District budget has been impacted due to economic conditions, unwillingness to raise fees given citizens' ability to pay more, local and state tax revenue declines, and increasing costs of doing business. Since the 2008 recession, the Park District has made about $3.4 million in mid-year budget adjustments or annual budget reductions, and more than $2 million has been cut in order to balance the 2013 budget. The District continues to reduce administrative costs, reduce and/or eliminate programs, adjust program/facility schedules, and cancel programs to achieve a balanced budget for the 104th consecutive year.

Rockford Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke said, "This is a trimmed, lean budget that stretches financial and human resources. We are fully committed to fiscal integrity, and continue to be good stewards of public funds while delivering a high quality park and recreation system at a reasonable cost to residents and visitors. Being awarded the 2012 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is evidence of our commitment to our citizens, customers, and visitors to our community."

The proposed budget will be available for public review over the next month, and a public hearing will be held at 5:00 p.m. on January 22, 2013. Formal approval by the Board will likely take place at the January 22, 2013 Board meeting. The assessed value presented in the levy is only an estimate; the final EAV, tax levy extension, and tax rate information will not be known until spring 2013.

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