City Council approves proposed fiscal budget

By Markos Moulitsas

The DeKalb City Council approved the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year at its meeting Monday night.

The budget was approved unanimously by the council after discussion concerning the funding of some not-for-profit groups.

The controversy centered on proposed funding for the Red Cross of DeKalb. Third Ward Ald. Gary Wiggins requested that $10,000 proposed for the Red Cross for a one-time equipment purchase be shifted over to the Economic Development Fund. He and other council members, along with DeKalb Mayor Greg Sparrow, questioned the wisdom of funding such organizations.

“They’re all good causes … (but) they all have national support. If you fund one of these organizations, where do you draw the line?” Sparrow remarked, pointing out that other organizations like the American Cancer Society would be lining up for similar financial support.

Fifth Ward Ald. Bessie Chronopoulos and 7th Ward Ald. Jordan Kagan supported the funding of those organizations.

Kagan said by supporting those organizations, “we’re putting our money where our mouth is.”

Chronopoulos said organizations that support the community through disaster relief and other such charitable work should be helped financially by the city since most of these organizations are strapped for cash.

In the end, the $10,000 for the Red Cross was approved in the understanding that it was a one-time deal, and the budget then was approved.

Causing some controversy at the meeting was the only ordinance to fail, a proposed zoning change of a property at 120 Gurler St. from two-family residential to multiple-family residential.

The owners of the property wanted to build an apartment building on the property, but the proposal was met by opposition from neighbors bordering the property.

Area resident Petra Adams said the proposed apartment building would “not comply with the residential structure of the … area.” She further argued that parking problems would worsen and she feared her property value would decline.

The council agreed with those arguments and rejected the proposal.

The council also debated whether to fund mosquito spraying, finally deciding it would be ineffective and not worth the expense.

Chronopoulos said, “You’d kill more mosquitos with the truck driving (into the mosquitos) than by the spraying itself.”