The Village of West Salem’s Finance Committee Tuesday evening voted by a 2–0 margin to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 running a more than $120,000 deficit to the municipality’s full board of trustees for approval later this month.

The proposed budget matches $621,944 in revenue against $743,852.50 in expenditures, which would leave the village $121,908.50 in the red. The budget also lists $130,000 in Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, but appears to list it amongst the document’s expenditures, which has been noted in previous meetings as a recommendation from village auditor Kemper CPA.

While expenses for individual funds are itemized within the budget, the TIF Fund is not, showing neither any potential expenses or revenue.

Two members of the Finance Committee, Chairman Reid Lauderman and Dan Jackson, were present for the meeting, with fellow committee member Paul Butler being absent. Jackson noted that a budget is not a binding document requiring the village to spend as planned within it, but assured those on hand that the village was attempting to keep the figures within it as low as possible.

“A budget is actually just an estimation of income and expenditures, not necessarily cut directly into stone,” said Jackson. “We’re trying our best to keep the budget down as much as we can, but there are a lot of things that need to be done in this town and it’s going to cost money to do them, unfortunately.”

He also stated that spending was needed to put the village into a position to be more attractive to prospective residents and businesses.

“We can’t expect to get anything such as new revenue if we don’t improve the situations where (people and businesses) will be enticed to come into our town.”

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