The city passed a budget this year of $10,520,427 after transfers,
she first said. "Our general fund cannot withstand an additional
burden of costs at this time," she said.
Our payroll seems to be the biggest cost generated, and our
departments are at least 15 staff short, she said.
Our responsibilities are increasing with economic development,
Davis said. There is a ripple effect associated with new growth,
including residential development. We are not complaining but
looking for possible solutions to offset costs, as well as bringing
taxpayers into the decision-making process on the next ballot, she
The mayor said that she has been working with City Clerk Melanie
Riggs and Treasurer Les Plotner. Riggs recognized that there are a
number of city employees nearing retirement who are on the high end
of the pay scale and that if they retired from the city early, lower
payroll rate employees could be hired. This constitutes a potential
savings of $450,000 over a three-year period.
The finance, policies and procedures committee has approved the
development of an incentives package to accomplish this. The council
will be looking closely at this and working on it this year, she
In another area, the mayor said that Alderman Verl Prather and
Leslie Last came up with the idea of placing the Fifth Street Road
project and construction of streets for the new Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Hospital on the ballot. They suggested that it be put to
the voters to decide whether or not they want the city to invest in
these projects as a priority and sacrifice other street projects
within the city.
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Future consideration for costs to maintain these developments and
the costs of other coming commercial and residential developments
and the services they will need must be taken into consideration
also, she said.
"On a positive note, we will continue to work with all parties in
economic development that have brought in new businesses. We've
retained businesses and shown central Illinois, the state of
Illinois [that] the city of Lincoln is up and coming... and will
proceed in that direction."
The mayor concluded with a thank you to the aldermen of the past
year, the citizens and said that it is a task that has given her
many sleepless nights but one that has also brought her great
pleasure in doing over the past six years. She hopes to continue
bringing success to Lincoln in the next year and said that she
appreciates those who understand that she and the city council make
no decisions lightly.
"I love this city and the people who live here," she said. "I
don't want to jeopardize anyone's chances of success or upon
improving their quality of life." She said that this is a democracy,
and she welcomes hearing from people. She also asked that people
give her and the council the respect and latitude needed to make
those decisions a reality.