Discussion on DeKalb budget to continue

DeKALB – A public hearing on the 2010 fiscal year budget will continue Monday night as the DeKalb City Council takes another look at its spending plan.

Aldermen approved the $30 million spending plan on first reading on May 26, and they are expected to formally adopt the budget on June 16. The city's 2010 fiscal year runs July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

Several changes have been made to the budget since initial discussions took place.

The first would transfer money from the tax increment financing fund into other funds for in-house engineering work, which would add $107,000 to the general fund and $84,000 to a development services fund.

This work would usually be contracted out to an engineering firm and paid out of the TIF fund, Assistant City Manager Rudy Espiritu said at a news conference Thursday. Because of the slowdown in development, it was discussed during a budget workshop to use city staff for downtown streetscape projects rather than hire outside firms.

The second change is a reduction in funding to Re:New DeKalb from $50,000 to $45,000 annually.

"This is in consideration in both a reduction in human services funding and as a first step for Re:New DeKalb to be fiscally independent from the city by Fiscal Year 2012," Espiritu said.

Currently, Re:New is funded by the economic development fund, which relies solely on hotel-motel tax revenues.

The third budget revision is a request by 2nd Ward Alderman Tom Teresinski for an economic impact analysis on the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. The study is expected to cost $50,000; that money was added to the airport's 2010 budget.

Public Works Director Rick Monas, whose department oversees the airport, said that the study seeks to understand the direct and indirect impacts the airport has on the local economy, like buying food, gas or lodging in the area.

Also on the agenda

The DeKalb City Council also is expected to discuss these issues at its Monday night meeting:

• Through a request by Pierce Harley-Davidson, an ordinance was drafted to allow temporary permits for tattooing. The motorcycle shop wants to allow tattooing to take place at a July event.

• Agreements with Hillside Restaurant, O'Leary's Irish Pub and Grill and Eduardo's Mexican Restaurant would allow the restaurants to lease public sidewalks next to their buildings to set up outdoor cafe. Also, a parking ordinance would change three 15-minute spaces to 90-minute spaces to offset lost parking in those areas.

• Three items relating to the airport would enhance taxiway markings and signs for added safety and improve drainage – requirements for the airport to accommodate larger commercial aircraft and charter services. Most of these costs will be reimbursed by the state or federal governments, Espiritu said.