SYCAMORE — With more than half of the year in the books, Sycamore’s finance committee held a meeting Wednesday afternoon to review all of the village’s funds.
Fuel costs was an area of concern, specifically for the police department. The village appropriated $3,000 for the year to pay for fuel for the two police cruisers, with $2,415.46 spent to date. Clerk-treasurer Chris Moler reported the police department spent $481.88 on fuel during the month of June.
One cruiser is driven by full-time Chief Richard Blankenship, who works 42 hours per week. The other is shared by the two part-time officers, Zach Stumpf and William Pelish Jr., who work a combined 30 hours per week. Village officials say Stumpf has been volunteering up to 20 additional hours on patrol each week and the committee will recommend to council that Stumpf’s volunteer hours be cut to save fuel.
“He’s putting in extra hours and that’s running that car,” Councilman Ralph Decker said. “We have to cut Zach off.”
Village officials pointed out that all departments are spending more on gasoline.
“In all departments, if you are running the air conditioners in the vehicles, which you almost have to because it’s so terribly hot, it’s going to suck the gas up,” Councilwoman Dawn Needles said.
The water and sewer departments have spent the combined $3,000 appropriated for fuel costs and the electric department has spent 95.5 percent, or $1,910.17, of the $2,000 set aside for the year.
The street department remains on budget, spending 46.8 percent, or $1,170.77 of the $2,500 that was appropriated for fuel, but Administrator Chuck Clark said the department will spend more in the second half of the year.
“We haven’t even really started on any of the projects yet,” Clark said. “We are just getting geared up.”
The fire department has depleted 26 percent of its fuel budget, spending $650.09 of the $2,500 appropriated for the year. Twenty-seven percent, or $682.95, of the $2,500 set aside for fuel in the village’s ambulance was spent during the first half of the year.
Money also will need to be added to cover the cost of legal fees for Solicitor Jim Gucker, who is working more hours as the village battles a $28,000 lawsuit filed last month by a Brewster railroad company. Council set aside $3,000 for 2012, with $2,560.54 already spent during the first half of the year.
The committee will recommend budget changes to the village council, which will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
By CHANDA NEELY