Lake in the Hills Village trustees and other staff have discussed allowing for the village’s first marijuana dispensary as a way to increase revenue long term to account for a projected $13 million shortfall over the next five years.
The idea of bringing a dispensary to Lake in the Hills has gained the support of the majority of trustees in the past, Village Administrator Fred Mullard said Wednesday. Now, the economic fallout from COVID-19 has brought the prospect back into the minds of some village officials.
“There have been cannibis dispensaries that have considered locating within the village,” Mullard said. “That will be another potential revenue source as they have a separate tax on those that would come directly to the village.”
A Sept. 22 presentation of the village’s five-year budget projection predicted a $13 million revenue shortfall over the next five years if the current economic climate remains the same, according to the meeting’s minutes.
The projection, given by Mullard and interim Finance Director Wayde Frerichs, used “prudent forecasting” to give trustees a look into the “worst-case scenario” of the virus’ long-term impact on the village’s revenue streams, Mullard said.
Even though the progression of COVID-19 vaccine trials suggests that a vaccine will likely be available to the public sometime next year, Village Trustee and current Budget Officer Ray Bogdanowski said he thinks this more cautious approach to budgeting makes a lot of sense right now.
“We don’t know to what extent the [economic] recovery is going to be,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “So when they put the numbers together, they said, ‘I don’t think we can come back here and just assume that that we’re going to be back to normal in 2021.'”
The odds that the village will actually experience a $13 million loss in revenue