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David Horn summarizes agenda of next Decatur City Council meeting on September 3 at 5:30 PM

The next city council meeting will feature votes on significant changes to the annual budgeting process and sewer rehabilitation.  Below is additional information.

BUDGETING PROCESS - The City of Decatur may be changing from an appropriation method of operation to a budget method of operation. If approved, there will only be a single step of the city council passing a budget ordinance prior to the beginning of the fiscal year (and it would not have to pass an appropriation ordinance by the end of the first quarter of the budget year).  Among the changes to this budgeting process would be:

1) The City Manager or their designee will serve as the budget officer and have responsibilities including establishing efficient budgeting, auditing, and accounting procedures; compiling an annual budget; and examining all books and records. In my view, one concern with the position as written is that the “budget officer may make revisions to the approved budget … by deleting, adding to, or changing approved expenditures without Council approval …” This clause may weaken the city council’s budgetary authority. 

2) The City Manager will be able to spend up to $40,000 without additional Council approval but only if the money is for items that are specifically set forth in a specific line item in the budget approved by Council that cites the exact project or expenditure. If the money is for an item that is not specifically set out in a line item detail in the Council-approved budget, then the current $20,000 amount will remain. 

3) The budget must be balanced such that expenditures cannot exceed revenues plus cash reserves. 

The net impact of the proposed change is that there will be even greater attention given to the annual budget process by both the council and general public. The new budgeting process will also provide more details about how money is being spent and will be better connected to the city council’s goals and performance metrics for the city’s departments. 

SEWER SYSTEM - The city council will vote on whether to approve a contract in the amount of $5,379,460 for the McKinley Sewer Rehabilitation project including contingencies. This project will assure that one of the city’s critical large diameter sewers is maintained in a structurally sound condition. The project will be funded through the IEPA Water Pollution Control Loan Program with a loan rate of 2.00% over a 20-year period. The loan will be paid back via the city’s sewer fund which receives income from sanitary sewer user fees. 

Meetings take place at the City Council Chamber located on the third 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, and 3 minutes per citizen is allotted for public comment near the beginning of each meeting. An agenda to each city council meeting can be found at:

Horn for Decatur
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