The Oak Park Village Board of Trustees passed its 2010 budget on Monday, with a few tax and fee increases still to be ironed out.

Village hall’s budget was largely balanced by cuts that took place during the course of 2009, as around 20 village employees have been laid off to respond to dwindling tax revenues. Nonprofit agencies that receive funding from the village will see 10 percent reductions to what they receive from the village next year.

The budget includes increases to water rates, the village’s share of the motor-fuel tax and the fee residents pay for the collection of garbage, refusing and recycling. The board held a first reading on the rate increases on Monday and is scheduled to finalize those changes at their next meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.

Oak Park is pretty much just passing through the city of Chicago’s water increase of 15 percent to residents, as the village is raising its charge for water and sewer use by 14 percent. That accounts for an 84-cent increase, to $6.79 per 1,000 gallons of water. The water and sewer rate increases would raise $1.39 million for the village.

The village also plans to increase what residents pay to have their garbage taken away by 3 percent, to raise $86,000 for the village. So every home that has a 96-gallon garbage cart would pay $1.72 more a quarter, or $58.50, while those with a 64-gallon container would pay $1.43 more a quarter or $49.29.

Oak Park is also considering raising its home-rule gas tax by 1 cent, up to 6 cents per gallon. That would put the village at the same level of Chicago in what it charges, while raising an added $150,000. Officials say the added revenue would be used to improve public infrastructure, such as sidewalks, alleys or streets.

-Marty Stempniak

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