Burr Ridge Board balks at pension request
Updated: January 14, 2013 4:48PM
BURR RIDGE — Members of the five-member pension board spoke to the Burr Ridge Village Board Monday and presented their case for why the anticipated $555,623 contribution for 2012 to the pension fund should be increased to $796,563.
“Failure to provide that levy will increase our unfunded liability,” said Pension Board member Tom White.
White, speaking for the rest of the board, argued that the fund is losing potential investment income because it is not fully funded.
“You’re adding to what’s on the pension fund credit card,” White said.
Burr Ridge’s police pension fund is about 70 percent funded. The other 30 percent would add about $5 million to the pension pool. The state requires that the fund be 90 percent funded by 2030.
By providing only the minimum required by the state each year, the village is headed down a dangerous financial path, White said.
Mayor Gary Grasso, a vocal advocate of pension reform, called the board’s request unrealistic. He said the village already pays about $20,000 per year for each of the village’s 27 police officers.
“This would make it $30,000,” Grasso said.
Grasso said that money is needed to take care of the needs of the village and its residents.
“We have met our obligation every year,” said Grasso, who took the opportunity Monday to blast Springfield politicians for passing generous pension plans that municipalities are left to fund.
“What Springfield did is blatantly outrageous,” Grasso said.
Trustees agreed, voting unanimously to have Stricker draft the proposed levy, which must be passed and filed by Christmas, with the $555,623 contribution to the pension fund. The police pension accounts for just over half of the village’s total tax levy.