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DeKalb City Council could cut funds to local partners as Nicklas seeks more ways to trim budget

January 28, 2019

DeKALB – In light of DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas’ efforts to “right-size” the government, he is recommending that the city reduce funding for several local partners.

In addition to the announcement that Nicklas recommended that the council approve laying off four high-level administrators, annual funding for the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. could be reduced.

In November, the bureau’s executive director, Debbie Armstrong, made a case for the city’s continued support. She emphasized that the state of Illinois matches any amount the city gives, so any reduction in annual support would mean a double loss for the bureau. In response, council members decided not to cut any financial support when they passed a deficit budget in December.

Now, Nicklas is looking to change that.

Following directions from the City Council during its Jan. 14 meeting, at which time the council postponed a vote on the grants, Nicklas met with each organization’s executive director, according to Monday’s meeting agenda.

Instead of the originally proposed $50,000 to the visitors bureau, Nicklas is recommending a $40,000 grant from the city for tourism activities. Similarly, Nicklas is recommending the Chamber and DCEDC each receive $35,000 instead of $45,000.

Also during Monday’s meeting, officials will vote to ratify an intergovernmental agreement between DeKalb County and the city relating to sales tax sharing and a memorandum of understanding for emergency telecommunications.

A passing vote would close the deal on the agreement, the discussion of which began in September, according to the agenda notes.

The city of DeKalb is converting its emergency telecommunications system from a Motorola Starcomm digital radio system to the county’s P-25 digital radio system. The DeKalb Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office already have a memorandum of understanding regarding joint dispatch, so the city’s resolution will be a continuation of that agreement.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 200 S. Fourth St.

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