Oak Park trustees discuss infrastructure, insurance costs
Updated: November 14, 2012 12:35PM
OAK PARK — Streamlining transportation infrastructure and implications to village health insurance plans in light of the federal health care law were among the issues reviewed Thursday during village finance talks.
“We’re focused tightly on 2013, but we certainly can take questions on out years,” Interim Village Manager Cara Pavlicek told trustees.
Many projects budgeted for 2013 are in preparation for other projects in 2014 and beyond. Trustees called the special meeting to review capital improvement, enterprise and internal service fund allocations in the proposed 2013 budget.
It was the third of four special meetings to review the budget before the board votes on it Dec. 10. A final review meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday at Village Hall.
A wrap up meeting will take place on Nov. 19.
The village Capital Fund, nearly $10 million, is comprised of capital improvements, building improvement, fleet replacement and equipment replacement. About 71 percent, or more than $7 million, is allocated for capital improvements, including $1.2 million for street resurfacing, $700,000 for replacements of about a dozen alleys and $103,000 for bicycle lanes and parking.
Village President David Pope noted sharing the cost of water main replacements at Ridgeland Commons with the parks district saves the village money.
“If we were, in fact, doing this on our own, it would be a higher number in our budget,” he said.
The $14 million Internal Service Fund is made up of health insurance, debt service, risk management and self-insured retention funds. About 60 percent of this fund is allocated for health insurance, and 23 percent services the village’s debt.
Potential changes in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, dominated the discussion of health insurance. One provision, commonly called the “Cadillac tax,” is intended to encourage employers who self-insure, as the village does, to offer lower-cost insurance plans so money can be used for higher taxable wages.
Many employers with 500 employees or more believe they will be subject to the tax. Though village officials are waiting to see what the exact provisions of the federal law will be, Human Resources Director Frank Spataro said Oak Park, with roughly 1,500 employees, is likely to be subject to the tax.
“We would most likely fall under this tax, and the tax would be $400,000 for the village,” he said.