City budget, tax levy presentation next week | Local News

DANVILLE — After police and fire pension costs in the city’s budget went up $1.5 million this fiscal year, the same is being looked at for 2018-2019.

When Ward 2 Alderman Rick Strebing earlier this week said he agrees with Ward 1 Alderman Rickey Williams Jr. and said “there’s no way that right now (residents) can absorb another fee or tax on anything. We’re going to get run out of our wards …” regarding a possible storm water management fee, Mayor Scott Eisenhauer told aldermen they will have another “rude awakening” with a budget presentation Tuesday.

Pensions are going up $1.5 million and insurance went up $711,000, Eisenhauer said.

“So in those two items alone, we’re going to have to figure out a way to accomplish $2.2 million. Rising costs of pensions are the bulk of that. It’s another $1.5 million after doing $1.5 million last year. So in a two-year period your pensions are going up $3 million,” Eisenhauer said.

Earlier this week, the consensus of the city council’s Public Works Committee was to move some sales tax funding away from demolitions from the city’s Community Reinvestment Fund for storm water maintenance.

Eisenhauer said city officials wanted input from aldermen for direction in what to include in the city’s new proposed budget.

City officials are expected to start public 2017 tax levy and fiscal year 2018-2019 budget discussions next week. Eisenhauer wouldn’t yet comment on city position cuts proposed in the city’s new budget.

Aldermen also on Tuesday will consider approving a side agreement with the International Association of Firefighters Local 429 for May 1, 2017, through April 30, 2018, and a collective bargaining agreement with IAFF Local 429 for 2018 to 2021.

Danville Firefighters Union Local 429 President Jerry Sparks said the side agreement provides the savings city officials requested.

The union had presented more than $708,000 in cuts, as requested by Eisenhauer, to avoid layoffs. The cuts included employee buyouts and multiple line item cuts.

“This was a good faith, negotiated agreement from both sides,” Sparks said of the three-year agreement.

Earlier this year, the council approved a four-year contract with the firefighters union covering 43 firefighters. The contract, which was retroactive and settled by an arbitrator, included 2 percent salary raises the first, third and fourth years and a 3 percent raise the second year, and awarded the union position that minimum manning remain at 13 for all shifts. The firefighters and fire command contract expired April 30, 2014.

Sparks nor Eisenhauer would provide details of the new agreement. Sparks said the agreements provide the city savings “in perpetuity.”

Sparks also said the firefighters union has ratified both agreements.

In other business the council will consider:

• Authorizing certain city property for city auction.

• Approving a contract for the wall restoration project at 113 E. Main St., next to This Is It Furniture, where a building was torn down.

• Approving a contract with Scottsdale Insurance Company for Danville Mass Transit fleet liability insurance.

• Authorizing the purchase of ADA paratransit service with CRIS Healthy-Aging Center.

• Appointing Bryan Sampson to the Historic Preservation Commission and Sharon McMahon and Melissa Rome to the Vermilion County Emergency Telephone System Board.

Coming Up

The Danville City Council’s Public Works Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to act on resolutions authorizing certain city property for city auction and awarding a contract for the wall restoration project at 113 E. Main St. The full city council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Both meetings are at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.

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