The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 16, 2013

Budget, parking lot on agenda

DHS upgrade to clean water before release

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Tuesday’s city council meeting will include a budget hearing to place the city’s proposed 2013-2014 budget on public display for two weeks prior to final action on April 2.

Action also is expected on Phase 1 work for the Danville High School campus improvement, which some aldermen have called a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The city’s proposed $50 million budget is a 2.55 percent expenditure increase above this year’s budget. Personnel costs and increased salaries are a large part of the increase.

The city’s $22 million proposed general fund includes an increase in personnel expenses of about $563,000. The increases are largely due to health insurance, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

A voluntary separation package still could be offered to employees with council approval to save costs in the future.

The budget also includes retail incentives for businesses.

Due to better than expected revenues, $500,000 in possible city job and budget cuts weren’t needed for a balanced budget. The proposed budget shows revenues increasing by almost 4 percent to make up for the gap in funding from the city’s property tax levy.

City officials are not yet projecting increased sales tax revenues due to the addition of retail stores.

Also Tuesday, the council will consider Phase 1 of DHS campus improvements. The Public Works Committee voted 3-2 against the planned project last week.

Aldermen will consider approving a $986,487 contract with Midwest Asphalt, the lowest of three bidders for the DHS campus improvement project.

Council members also will consider approving an intergovernmental agreement with District 118 for the improvements.

The city received an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant, to spend up to $750,000 on eligible items, for the DHS campus parking lot and

multi-use field improvements. It also will use about $484,000 in Midtown Tax Increment Financing funding and sanitary sewer fund money (about $35,000) on the DHS campus storm water improvements.

The reconstruction of the southern high school parking lot includes a green overflow parking area along Hazel Street that can be used as a practice field for marching band or other activities when not needed for parking.

The project will use environmentally friendly pavements and landscaping to allow water to pass through them into a granular filter below that cleans the water before releasing it back to the storm sewer system. The expected life-span for the parking lot work is 20-25 years.

Other work will include: new sidewalks, curbs and street drainage features.

The city council Tuesday night also is expected to discuss the city’s sign ordinance.

In other business, the city council will consider:

ADA ridership grew 28 percent in January over last year with 1,168 rides.