Cameras in high crime areas to be voted on at next Decatur City Council meeting
In an effort to solve violent crimes and reduce future crimes, the Decatur City Council will be discussing a lease for 60 license plate reader cameras at its next meeting. The meeting will take place on Monday, March 15 at 5:30 PM. The leasing of cameras is one of over ten agenda items at the meeting. Below is more information about the safety cameras as well as other topics of interest.
STREET SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS TO BE USED TO HELP SOLVE AND REDUCE FUTURE CRIMES
Decatur’s total violent crimes increased 30% in 2020 compared to 2019 with 489 violent crimes committed in 2020 compared to 375 in 2019. Shootings increased 104% with 169 in 2020 and 83 in 2019. To reduce and solve violent crimes, the city council is highly likely to approve an agreement to lease 60 cameras for neighborhoods and adjacent to main thoroughfares experiencing high rates of violent crime. The cameras will be leased with a cost of $165,000 the first year and $150,000 each in years 2 and 3. Funding will not come from the general fund in 2021.
JOB LISTINGS IN THE DECATUR AREA INCREASE SUBSTANTIALLY IN FEBRUARY
As a measure of job availability, the City of Decatur’s Economic and Community Development Department records the number of job listings in the Decatur area as reported by Indeed.com. The number of jobs available increased from 1,004 listings in January to 1,520 listings in February (51% increase). There are now more job listings than there were prior to the pandemic when there were 1,385 job listings in February 2020, a 10% increase in job listings year-over-year.
TREASURER’S FINANCIAL REPORT SHOWS MODEST IMPROVEMENT IN CITY’S FINANCIAL CONDITION
The city’s general fund cash position was $8.8 million at the end of February compared to $8.5 million at the end of January. This total represents a 44-day cash reserve. Revenue is 0.8% above projections ($10.02 million [actual] vs. $9.94 million [budgeted]) and expense is 4.2% below projections ($8.87 million [actual] vs. $9.27 million [budgeted]). One possible reason for the decrease in expense is that current staffing is 5.5% below the number of FTEs budgeted (451 FTEs budgeted compared to 426 FTEs on staff).
DECATUR CITY COUNCIL ELECTION IS APRIL 6
Decatur’s Consolidated Election including voting for city council, school board, and park district will take place on April 6. Early voting is currently taking place at the Macon County Building and mail ballots for City of Decatur voters are now being mailed. More information about the election including registering to vote, early voting, and looking up your polling location can be found at the Macon County Clerk’s Office website: http://www.co.macon.il.us/voting-election-information/ In addition, you can call the clerk’s office at 217-424-1333.
CITIZENS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
If you would like to discuss these or any other issues with a city council member, phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/.
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AT CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
Meetings take place at the Theater located on the second floor of the Decatur Civic Center (1 Gary K. Anderson Place). Free parking is available in the lot immediately south of the entrance. Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and express their views. Citizens are allotted 3 minutes per person near the beginning of each city council meeting. In addition, citizens can provide comments regarding one regular agenda item per meeting for up to three minutes provided they notify the city in advance (and prior to the start of the meeting). You can request to speak on a particular agenda item at a council meeting by filling out an on-line form at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/advance-request-to-speak-at-council-meeting/.
AGENDAS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE
An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/.