DeKalb City Council approves land annex ordinance

Jessica Wells

During Monday’s DeKalb City Council meeting, the council discussed the fiscal year 2010 fourth quarter financial report and a communications upgrade for the police department.

Assistant City Manager Rudy Espiritu presented the financial report and said the city is not the $2-3 million over budget that was projected in October, thanks to changes in spending.

“We are still going to end the fiscal year with a debit balance or a deficit,” Espiritu said. “But because we made cuts throughout the year, the debit balance for fiscal year 2010 was $256,000. Keep in mind this amount is lower than fiscal year 2007 which was $522,000 and fiscal year 2008 which was $486,000.”

Espiritu said it would have been ideal to have a balanced budget but it’s not possible. The state is five months behind on income tax payments and the city is still waiting for money, Espiritu said.

Much of the budget shortfall was attributed to sales tax.

“The recession took a major toll on our revenues,” Espiritu said.

Espiritu did commend the city and its employees for their money-saving efforts. By cutting spending on commodities, training and other services, total expenditures were reduced by $900,000.

“Considering where we were and the circumstances that we were talking about in September, we were talking about a $1 million dollar deficit and we were able to turn it into $256,000,” said Second Ward Alderman Tom Teresinski. “The staff really did reduce costs and listened to the concerns of the council and the public about spending money.”

Additionally, the city approved an ordinance to annex land to the city as a portion of the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. According to the agenda, over previous years, five parcels of land had been acquired and considered for annexation and rezoning as long as they were for airport related uses. Most of this land will be added to the runway protection areas along the north side of Barber Greene Road and the remainder has no current developments proposed.

The council passed a resolution for an agreement with Motorola for the use of the Starcom 21 Communications Network for the police department. According to the agenda, this radio system is the final piece to the system upgrade approved by the council with the Prairie Shield Grant.

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said the department’s current technology is up to 30 years old. This new system includes many benefits including the ability to communicate with police departments statewide and emergency features for officer safety.

“This system will greatly improve interoperable communications and allows us to expand as a department,” Feithen said.

The next DeKalb city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13 at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.