Plotner spoke to the council at length Tuesday night, describing a
plan that would get the new roof done this summer, but not without
some sacrifices in other areas of the budget.
The total amount
needed for the roof is $167,590 plus a 10 percent contingency for
unforeseen repairs that may be needed once the old roof is torn off.
Currently the city has $28,758 from the insurance company for the
claim on the roof, and a check in that amount needs to be written to
the contactor before the end of April.
Plotner says that the city could borrow $150,000 over the next
four years and have an annual payback amount of $41,300. That amount
would be raised through budget cuts in other line items.
He suggested cutting $10,000 out of the building and grounds
repairs and maintenance budget, reducing GIS development from
$15,000 to $5,000, reducing the fire department's fire station
planning funds from $15,000 to $5,000, and eliminating the proposed
$10,000 for citywide cleanup.
Plotner said that the city could consider an alternate revenue
bond for the amount of the roof. He explained that the disadvantages
of this plan would include a higher interest rate; there are costs
involved in issuing the bond; and it carries a 125 percent coverage
requirement on the payback amount. The advantages of this funding
are that it does offer a backup tax levy, and it is not subject to
Finally, he said that the council could hope that revenues
increased enough to cover the debt, but he offered some statistics
that seemed to indicate they would not.
Since October of 2008, revenues from sales-use tax have dropped 3
percent, or $27,225. The Illinois Municipal League is projecting an
overall decrease in 2009 of 4.6 percent and a decrease in the
corporate replacement tax of 13.7 percent in the year 2010.
Telecommunications tax revenue is down this year approximately
$30,000, or 9 percent. And his final concern, the consumer price
index for the 2009-10 year was at 4.1 percent, but for the next levy
year it is going to be only 0.1 percent. That index is used to
figure property tax increases, and based on 0.1 percent, the tax
levy increase for the 2010 year would come to less than $1,500
[to top of second column]
Department head pay raises revoted
A vote last week on city department head pay increases was
scrapped immediately following the meeting, when an error was
discovered in calculating the raises. A special adjourned meeting
was held prior to this week's Tuesday evening workshop to fix the
Anderson explained that it was discovered that in some cases the
salaries would have exceeded appropriations. The city is not allowed
to spend over appropriations.
The council went into executive session and when they returned,
motioned for department heads to get a 2.5 percent raise for this
fiscal year, 2008-09, with the exception of fire chief, deputy
police chief and city attorney, which are either under contract or
so that the raise would not exceed the appropriation amount.
The council approved the raises in a vote of 9-0, with Alderman
Buzz Busby being absent due to illness.
[By NILA SMITH]
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