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Island Lake approves first payment to police pension fund

Published: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 10:47 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 11:29 p.m. CDT

ISLAND LAKE – The first chunk of missing police pension fund dollars will be repaid, the Island Lake Village Board decided Thursday evening.

The board gave unanimous approval to the transfer of $50,000 in developer impact fees, the first dent in the nearly $400,000 owed to the pension fund.

The impact fees hadn't been earmarked for anything in particular, Village President Charles Amrich said, adding that revenue stream, which is collected ahead of the construction of new homes, typically goes toward parks and other village services.

"We need to pay that money back, and, of course, the sooner we can do that the better for everybody concerned," Amrich said. "The $50,000 that we are going to be giving them shortly is a good faith gesture that we are making an effort to pay that back."

The board is in the process of putting together a budget for the fiscal year that starts May 1, a process that now includes identifying where the village can find additional money to pay toward the police pension fund.

The final numbers on how much will be paid back and over what timeline hasn't been reached, Amrich said, but the Village Board and the police pension fund board have been in talks.

Several village officials have said they hope to find the funds through efficiencies without cutting village services or laying employees off.

The village does not have enough in its general fund to pay back the pension fund for the three years of misappropriation.

The board has also been discussing possible legal avenues to recoup some of the funds, though those conversations have taken place during closed session and additional details aren't available.

Instead of the money levied for the police pension fund going to the fund as required by state law, it was used to pay village bills. The finance director, who authorized the payments, was fired by the board last month in a 4-3 vote.

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