The Robinson City Council looked at their tentative tax levy Tuesday night and established a hearing on the levy for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Most of the levy is unchanged from the previous year, with increases in just two areas, workers compensation and the police pension.
The workers compensation levy is tentatively set at $40,000, up from $25,000 last year. The police pension levy is up to $219,000 from $189,596 the previous year.
The corporate levy rate is $130,000, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund rate is $150,000, FICA/Medicare is $105,000, the audit rate is $20,000 and the police protection rate is $45,000, all unchanged from the previous levy. The total levy amount is about $710,000 and will be approved at the next regular council meeting following the hearing.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council approved the Fiscal Year 2012 audit report. Anne Marie Hopkins of Kempers CPA told council members that their net fund balance was up slightly from the previous year, though the city had spent $3.5 million in the fiscal year instead of the budgeted $3.2 million, likely due to unforeseen emergency expenditures.
"You're receiving enough revenues to cover your operating needs, even though the state is lagging on some of its payments," Hopkins said.
Council members also approved advertising for bids to prepare the statement of qualifications for the next fiscal year.
Police Chief Bill Ackman presented Roselene Quick with a plaque demonstrating the county law enforcement agencies' appreciation for Quick's efforts in securing a $250,000 buffer zone grant for the county. The grant allowed the departments to better prepare for handling major security concerns. The Marathon refinery's role as critical infrastructure and a key resource for the nation qualified the community for the program.
The traffic lights at Main and Court streets that were turned off earlier this fall will be removed by the Illinois Department of Transportation by Dec. 1. IDOT sent the city a letter saying they'd received no complaints or concerns about the lights being turned off and will go ahead with their plan to remove them.
The furnace in the Parks Department office, installed when the building at the City Park was constructed about 20 years ago, has quit. A replacement was approved for purchase from Crawford County Air Care for $3,200.
Aldermen approved the drafting of several ordinances that will be voted on at the Nov. 27 meeting, including a proposal to designate the west side of South Jones between Chestnut and Pine a no parking zone from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
An ordinance changing the deposit contractors working in city streets must pay was also approved for drafting. Currently, contractors write a $5,000 check to the city that is held without being deposited. The new ordinance would create three options, one being a $5,000 bond with surety, a second having the $5,000 check deposited and then refunded when the work is complete and the third being a letter of credit from a financial institution. The new ordinance would also reflect the same rules for the $500 sewer deposit.
The council also approved the drafting of an ordinance that officially establishes the city's policy for new driveway construction. The city has traditionally installed pipes as needed under driveway approaches and maintained them, while the property owner provided concrete for the approach, but that practice is not currently part of the city code.
A resolution to sell the property at 407 W. Pine will also be drafted and voted on at the next meeting. The property was condemned by the city last year, and the house was torn down and the property cleaned up this year.