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Dixon council to consider switching project funding; pay raises also up for discussion

September 29, 2018

DIXON – The City Council plans to vote on switching around funding for its bike path extension and water meter projects Monday and to discuss changing how much council members get paid.

The city recently started a $3 million project to replace and upgrade all of its water meters and decided to lend itself the money from reserves and pay it back across 10 years at 1 percent interest rather than paying more in interest through a bank loan.

Members now will consider backtracking and look at pursuing either a bank loan or issuing bonds for the project so that the money they would have borrowed could be available for future projects or to put toward pension funding.

Another funding change coming to the council will be to pay for about $148,000 in engineering for its bike path extension project with capital funds rather than Rita Crundwell recovery money.

Engineering costs total about $326,000, and the council signed off last year on using $210,215 in recovery money toward the project.

The nearly $148,000 is made up of the remaining $124,597 left to be paid to Fehr Graham Engineering & Environmental and the last paid bill, $23,358, that was paid with the recovery fund, which would be reimbursed with capital dollars.

About 2 years ago, the city received a $2 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to extend its bike path 1.6 miles – stretching east on River Road toward Raynor Garage Doors and west with a ramp to the viaducts running to Seventh Street.

The city is required to spend $400,000 of its own money on the project, but the engineering costs don’t count toward that amount.

Council pay raise discussion

The council also plans to revive a conversation about changing how much council members get paid.

In April last year, the council was considering upping council member annual pay from $5,400 to to $9,500, but the group couldn’t reach a consensus, and it was shortly before newly elected Councilmen Ryan Marshall and Dennis Considine were going to be seated.

Any changes wouldn’t apply until next term for council members.

Though they couldn’t decide on a council pay raise at that time, they did approve a $10,000 bump to the mayor’s salary, totalling $19,500, which was the first increase in 3 decades and will go into effect in May 2019.

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