The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 26, 2014

Committee continues to review city budget

BY JENNIFER BAILEY jbailey@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — The city council’s Public Services Committee has a light agenda for its Tuesday meeting. Committee members will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.

The meeting largely will consist of monthly department reports.

A humane society report also is expected from director Glen Laird.

Also on the agenda is a review of the proposed city budget for 2014-2015.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he doesn’t know whether he and City Comptroller Gayle Lewis will yet have a new tiered concept for a proposed fire safety fee. City officials are proposing a monthly fee for residential and commercial customers on their garbage/sewer bills to help pay for fire department operating costs.

Eisenhauer said the tiered concept may not be ready for aldermen consideration until February.

Questions also continue to come from aldermen about the city’s proposed budget.

“We’ve asked the mayor for attrition numbers ...,” Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster said about himself and other aldermen.

He and other aldermen have asked city officials various budget questions including about how many city employees, specifically with the fire department, are expected to retire this coming fiscal year. The new city fiscal year starts May 1.

Eisenhauer said the number is expected to be low, but he doesn’t know an exact number.

The first draft of the city’s 2014-2015 budget shows a general fund of $23.9 million, which is up 5.81 percent from this fiscal year. The budget is balanced, but had an initial $8 monthly fire safety fee to generate $1 million in new revenue.

Revenues that have increased from a year ago are state income tax by $100,000, corporate replacement tax by $165,000, state use tax by $31,000 and the video gaming tax by $93,500. A revenue decrease from a year ago is in home rule sales tax by $50,000.

Increases in expenditures from a year ago include snow and ice removal by $80,000.

Eisenhauer said challenges that remain include worker’s compensation and liability claims and negotiations and arbitrations with union contracts.

Some city department reorganizations are planned, including reverting back to having a fire chief and police chief.