Tinley Park proposed budget calls for more money for police, stormwater management work

Tinley Park’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget earmarks more money for the Police Department, funds for electric charging stations at the village’s commuter parking lots and more spending on stormwater projects.

For the budget year that begins May 1, spending in all funds is projected to be $205 million with revenue pegged at a bit more than $152 million, but funds will be carried over from this fiscal year to offset the difference.

The village expects to begin the budget year with a balance in all funds of $296 million and projects ending the fiscal year next April 30 with a balance of $243.6 million.

The general fund, from which many village operations are funded, such as public safety, calls for expenses of $71.8 million and revenue of $72.6 million.

The starting balance in the general fund is estimated to be $46.4 million, and the village anticipates ending the fiscal 2025 budget year with a balance of $47.2 million in that fund.

Final approval is expected at the April 30 Village Board meeting.

Spending for the Police Department is projected to be $21 million in fiscal 2025, up from $18.5 million this budget year.

While the department had asked for funding for six more patrol officers, the recommended budget includes money for one additional street cop, according to Hannah Lipman, assistant village manager.

At a public hearing Tuesday, Lipman said staffing in the department is at its highest level in the village’s history, and that, following a staffing study conducted a few years ago, the village has committed to increasing the number of police.

She said 43 patrol officers have been hired in recent years, although some of those were to fill vacancies created by retirements or officers leaving the department.

Lipman said the village authorized additions for the department including a canine unit and street crime suppression unit, and that it takes about 10 months from the time an officer is hired, including training, until they are on the street.

Police departments across the country are finding it difficult to recruit officers, but Lipman said “we continue to have officers who want to come to Tinley.”

The new budget allocates $30 million for capital improvement projects, including almost $3 million for stormwater management projects, up from $1.4 million this year.

The 2025 budget also calls for spending $200,000 to install the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles at commuter parking lots.

The capital fund will start the new budget year with a balance of a bit more than $58 million, and funding for some projects will be carried over into the new year.

For this year, capital spending was approved at $41.2 million, with $14.5 million actually being spent.

Tinley Park is looking at total costs of $40 million to develop the downtown Harmony Square outdoor music plaza, including infrastructure costs.

The new budget sets aside $14 million for water and sewer work, as well as $8.1 million for street work, including the ongoing widening of 80th Avenue.