The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 16, 2013

Electrical aggregation to be on city ballots

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — City voters will see an electrical aggregation referendum on their ballots in April.

Tuesday night, city council members unanimously approved placing the referendum question on the April 9 municipal ballot.

Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis and Ward 2 Alderwoman Lois Cooper were absent.

There was no more discussion by aldermen about the issue.

The question will read “Shall the City of Danville have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?”

The city can enter into an agreement with a consultant or negotiate with an energy supplier to secure a lower rate for electric service, with the intent to have residents and small businesses see reduced electric bills.

A November referendum for the county was determined to make the program available only to unincorporated areas, not the city. It passed by a 2-to-1 margin in the city. The city would have the same “opt-out” program as the county’s.

The program, if approved in April, would be in effect within 60 days after the election.

Also Tuesday, council members also heard from resident David Crawley about job opportunities with Kohl’s, Meijer and T.J. Maxx. He said public concerns are about if there are any full-time jobs available for local residents.

The Kohl’s job fair that ends today was for part-time jobs.

“It’s hard to support a family on (part-time work),” Crawley said.

Council members also learned about upcoming city budget study sessions and meetings.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer will present a first proposed budget draft to the city council on Feb. 5.

Home Rule Tax is coming in slightly lower than anticipated, while all other major revenues are coming in slightly higher than estimated, according to city comptroller Gayle Lewis.

Lewis also said in a budget memo that she will be asking department/division heads to make sure their budget requests reflect the cost of maintaining existing core services.

City officials will review initial budget requests from the tax levy process to determine the exact amount needed to balance the budget. An estimated $550,000 is needed in cuts and/or revenues to have a balanced budget.

In other business, the council approved:

The final plat of the Meijer Danville Subdivision Plat for 3623-3651 N. Vermilion St.

A rezoning petition requested by Kevin Gombert that the zoning of the property at 12 Corrine St. be changed from R2 single family residential zoning to B3 general business zoning in order to provide additional parking for Kevin’s Auto Sales, 540 E. Main St.

Accepting the donation of two buses from the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District.

A cash flow loan and budget amendment to capital improvements for Danville Mass Transit due to late state funding.

Purchasing a wheeled front-end loader for $124,328 from Martin Equipment of Tolono. The cost was increased slightly for “load control” capabilities.

Purchasing 16 parcels of property along Bowman Avenue to improve Bowman between Crestview across from Heavenly Square and Winter avenues. City officials will be negotiating the purchases.

The approximately $45,000 cost will be paid with motor fuel tax funds.

Ward 7 Alderman Bill Black said he doesn’t want to see the city purchase property and then have to wait three to four years for construction.

Urban Services Director David Schnelle said he doesn’t believe that will be the case.

He said if funding is found, through legislative help or other sources, construction could start next year.