The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Board of Commissioners today approved the agency’s nearly $44 million operating budget for fiscal year 2014 – 2015. Exclusive of the District’s new Wetland Aquatic and Riparian Program planned for this upcoming fiscal year, the budget represents a 5.4 percent decrease from 2013 – 2014. This habitat restoration work will be fully funded by third parties, and not property-tax dollars, in accordance with intergovernmental agreements.
“The Board of Commissioners challenged the staff to find new operational efficiencies,” said Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. “The resulting savings of more than 5 percent with no reduction in services is a reflection of this agency’s ongoing dedication to providing value to its residents.”
The fiscal year begins July 1. The budget was approved on time and was developed as part of a multiyear financial outlook.
Property taxes collected in 2014 will fund the 2014 – 2015 budget. The Board of Commissioners approved the tax levy in November 2013 at a rate of 8.38 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation. A homeowner with an assessed valuation of $300,000 pays only $165 annually to the District, about 2.14 percent of the total property tax bill. The District is subject to the tax cap, which limits property tax growth to the lesser of the Consumer Price Index or 5 percent.
The Forest Preserve District serves as steward to more than 25,000 acres and 60 forest preserves, which receive about 4.3 million visitors annually. It provides for the restoration of native habitats, public programs at five educational and cultural centers, and the maintenance and operation of recreational features such as trails, picnic shelters and camping areas.
DuPage County residents can view budget information and see how the Forest Preserve District allocates its resources by visiting dupageforest.org; clicking on About Us, District Offices, and Finance and Administration; and then scrolling down to the Annual Budgets section.
The District has earned AAA bond ratings, the best possible, from multiple independent investment rating services and has received numerous awards for excellence in financial reporting.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns and manages 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs welcome over 4 million visitors. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube pages.