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Local News

Plainfield audit shows good financial health

Plainfield Historical Society seeks to save pre-Civil War building from demolition, replacement by developer

Shaw Media file photo
Shaw Media file photo

The Plainfield Village Board accepted the village’s annual audit report for fiscal 2019 on Monday night, which showed the village is in a stable financial position.

The audit report was not discussed at Monday’s meeting, having been presented and discussed at the Village Board’s workshop Oct. 14.

“The report continues to show conservative budget management in our village,” Director of Management Services Traci Pleckham said. “We continue to focus on maintaining our tax rate [of .4669] for the last six years while providing excellent services to the community.”

Auditors Dan Berg and Sarah Montanari from accounting firm Sikich LLP presented the report.

The village’s overall net position in fiscal 2019 decreased about $1.6 million from 2018 – from $321.5 million to $319.9 million – because of infrastructure projects, Montanari said during the workshop.

The village’s general fund balance at its April 30 fiscal year end was up $256,526 from fiscal 2018, to $11.9 million. The actual budget for the year showed $1.4 million more in revenue in the general fund than expected. Revenue also exceeded expenses by about $1.6 million.

The village’s overall fund balance was $33.9 million, up about $3.8 million from fiscal 2018.

The village issued 169 single-family home permits for fiscal 2019, compared with 163 in 2018 and 134 in 2017. Pleckham said the village is “comfortable with these numbers.”

The village’s police pension fund saw a net increase of $3.1 million from the beginning to the end of the fiscal year, from $31.6 million to $34.7 million.

As of April 30, the village’s police pension was funded at nearly 80%, up from about 74% in 2018, and the highest it has been for the past five years.

That is “pretty good for Illinois pension funds,” Berg said at the Oct. 14 workshop.

As of Dec. 31 – the day the market value of the portfolio of Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund investments is measured – the village’s IMRF pension was funded at 82.3%.

This was down about 10% from 2018 because of poor market conditions on that day, when “the market was not kind to our 401Ks,” Berg said. This is a number that fluctuates, and the village has no control over it, he added.

Overall, the village is in “good financial health,” Pleckham said.

In other action, the Village Board approved a motion for a 90-day delay for issuance of a demolition permit for a building located at 24120 to 24122 W. Lockport St. The building – one of 42 remaining structures in the village that were built before the Civil War – is located within the village’s downtown historic district.

The applicant wishes to demolish the four-unit apartment building and build a new mixed-use one.

The Plainfield Historical Society noted the historical significance of the structure and voiced an objection to the demolition request at a public hearing at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission, according to a report attached to the motion.

The motion also requires the applicant, village staff and the Historic Preservation Commission prepare an analysis for alternatives to the demolition. Those could include renovating the current structure to adapt it for the desired new use, including it in the owner’s redevelopment plans by adding on extensions or moving it to another site.

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