Solid waste collection

DANVILLE — After postponing votes on previous versions of solid waste collection ordinance changes to issue tickets for Toter violations, and zoning code changes relating to the parking of recreational vehicles at residences, the Danville City Council voted against both proposed changes Tuesday night.

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said the very problem the aldermen wanted to address with Toters staying out for months at a time and overflowing in neighborhoods causing blight, the city will still not have any remedy for.

The council voted 7-5, with Alderwoman Eve Ludwig abstaining and there being one vacant council seat, against any Toter fines. The solid waste collection fines were proposed to start Feb. 1, 2022, for overflowing Toters or left out Toters. The fines were slightly changed from original proposals. Property owners were to be given a written warning for a first violation. Multiple violations would’ve resulted in a second violation fine of $50. If the fine was paid within 10 business days, the fine was to be reduced to $25. A third violation fine would’ve been $100. If paid within 10 days, the fine was to be reduced to $50. The fine for a fourth violation and each subsequent violation would’ve been $250 to $500.

Previously considered fines were: $10 ticket for a first violation, $25 ticket for a second violation and $250 ticket for third and subsequent violations. A notice of violation was to be sent to landlords for rental properties.

Aldermen heard from some landlords about holding tenants accountable because landlords can’t monitor all of their rental property trash Toters. There also will be mailing delays on the notices, they say, and has the city tried talking to people versus having fines.

Aldermen concerns included enforcement.

In other business, the council voted 8-5 against proposed zoning ordinance changes regarding recreational vehicles/campers parked at residences. Proposed changes were to again restrict the campers, watercraft and trailers to side or rear yards, with restrictions, and allowing them temporarily on hard surfaces.

The council heard from some residents who wanted to allow campers on driveways in front of homes, not just side and back yards.

Tuesday night’s Danville City Council meeting included a budget hearing.

According to Comptroller Ashlyn Massey, the updated second draft of the city’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget and 2021 levy, which are on the city website or can be viewed at city hall, includes changes from the first draft of: new insurance rates entered into the salary and benefit table (open enrollment changes to come); full-time employee amounts for departments corrected on the individual budgets to match salary and benefit table; and state sales tax estimate corrected. Massey had a typographical error of $4.8 million instead of the correct $5.8 million, which was caught by Alderman Mike O’Kane.

The $1 million increase allocated to: requested budgetary updates for legal, code enforcement and fire; and four sworn-officer positions added to police in light of COPS grant award (the city funding portion) and additional contributions to both police and fire pensions to reduce levy request to equal FY 2021-2022 levy request and make more additional payments towards the city’s outstanding obligations.

The city’s budget totals $60.6 million and includes a 19 percent increase in projected revenue largely due to online sales tax and cannabis revenue.

The city’s property tax rate is projected to decrease from $2.3124 to $2.2782 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. City officials are projecting a 1.5 percent increase in equalized assessed valuation of property from $297 million to $302 million The total levy is staying the same at 6.8 million.

The council also heard: applications for the $4,000 Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee scholarship are due by Friday; the downtown First Friday event will be a progressive dinner where adults will be invited to start with an appetizer at one business, eat an entree at another, dessert at yet another, and coffee and nightcap at a final business; and the city overcharging customers on the new sewer bills, and public safety pension fee. Overcharges are being corrected for senior, disabled veteran and disabled exemptions. Those exemptions see a 50 percent discount fee. Credits from the sanitary district also are being applied.

In addition, the council also heard from: Pastor Shanae Dowell requesting $25,000 for computers and youth programming through 21st Century Christian Worship Center; and Rev. Frank McCullough with the Three Kings of Peace about working with an architect on their proposed mentoring building adjacent to Garfield Park. They walked through the building with an inspector, and “it looks doable,” McCullough said, adding that they also hope to work with University of Illinois architecture students.

The council approved:

  • Applying for a fire prevention grant for hydrocarbon monitor for investigations and fire prevention materials.
  • Applying for a Wal-Mart grant for fire extinguisher prop for training and fire prevention.
  • Authorizing budget amendments for personnel and human relations, and the police division.

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