Naperville’s winter bills still coming in

<p>File Photo</p>

File Photo

Susan Frick Carlman
scarlman@stmedianetwork.com | @scarlman
April 11 8:46 p.m.

Up for a vote

Issue: Setting the mayor’s pay and discontinuing the position’s participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, beginning after next year’s municipal elections.

Background: The job, which entails duties and responsibilities regarded to comprise a part-time position, currently pays $20,000 annually, with stipends provided for Internet and cell phone expenses. The mayor also receives $5,000 per year for serving as liquor commissioner and is eligible to participate in IMRF.

What it means: If approved, the changes will put the yearly salary at $25,500 and eliminate the expense stipends, effective May 3, 2015. The liquor commissioner position will pay $6,000 per year. Eliminating the IMRF contribution will save the city about $3,500 annually.

Issue: Choosing a vendor for the recycling cart program. The lowest bidder is Cascade Engineering, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., which submitted a price of $1,869,252 and offers the carts in assorted sizes.

Background: When the council agreed last summer to move the recycling program out of open bins and into rolling carts with hinged lids, aiming to boost recycling rates, the vessels were expected to cost $2.3 million. The plan proposed at that point was to add a $4 fee to residents’ garbage collection bills each month for a year, to offset most of the expense.

What it means: Council members recently agreed to allocate $200,000 in surplus funds from the current year’s budget to cover the purchase. Staff now is recommending that residents be billed the extra $4 per month for nine months, which would yield $1.494,000 in revenue to help pay for the carts.

Issue: Approving the city’s fiscal 2015 budget.

Background: A series of council workshops have scrutinized various aspects of the proposed $447,278,432 spending plan.

What it means: The council is required to approve a budget via ordinance. The city’s fiscal year begins May 1.

The daffodils might be poised to burst into bloom, but that doesn’t mean winter’s woes are entirely in the past just yet.

Naperville officials will be asked this week to endorse payment for snow clearing in public spaces that went well beyond its normal scope, after an abnormally large accumulation of flakes came down on the city over the winter just past.

Tuesday’s City Council agenda includes a request for official approval of $121,660 due to Markham-based Beverly Snow and Ice Inc. The sum adds to the unbudgeted $1.5 million the city already has spent on overtime and contracted plowing demanded by the harsh winter.

The city budget includes enough funds to cover plowing on 24 separate occasions, along with de-icing six times. This year, there were 46 “snow removal events” that brought nearly 77 inches of snow.

Beverly was hired in late January to take over the responsibility for clearing and de-icing on the two train stations’ platforms and parking lots, the downtown business district’s sidewalks and parking areas, and other city-owned sites. City staff said Tim’s Snow Plowing Inc., the contractor originally hired to do the work, had fallen short of providing the required services. At that point, just six snowfalls had called for plowing.

The $101,966 in beyond-budget bills will be covered by the Public Works Department with existing city funds, according to a staff memo.

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.

Up for a vote

Issue: Setting the mayor’s pay and discontinuing the position’s participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, beginning after next year’s municipal elections.

Background: The job, which entails duties and responsibilities regarded to comprise a part-time position, currently pays $20,000 annually, with stipends provided for Internet and cell phone expenses. The mayor also receives $5,000 per year for serving as liquor commissioner and is eligible to participate in IMRF.

What it means: If approved, the changes will put the yearly salary at $25,500 and eliminate the expense stipends, effective May 3, 2015. The liquor commissioner position will pay $6,000 per year. Eliminating the IMRF contribution will save the city about $3,500 annually.

Issue: Choosing a vendor for the recycling cart program. The lowest bidder is Cascade Engineering, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., which submitted a price of $1,869,252 and offers the carts in assorted sizes.

Background: When the council agreed last summer to move the recycling program out of open bins and into rolling carts with hinged lids, aiming to boost recycling rates, the vessels were expected to cost $2.3 million. The plan proposed at that point was to add a $4 fee to residents’ garbage collection bills each month for a year, to offset most of the expense.

What it means: Council members recently agreed to allocate $200,000 in surplus funds from the current year’s budget to cover the purchase. Staff now is recommending that residents be billed the extra $4 per month for nine months, which would yield $1.494,000 in revenue to help pay for the carts.

Issue: Approving the city’s fiscal 2015 budget.

Background: A series of council workshops have scrutinized various aspects of the proposed $447,278,432 spending plan.

What it means: The council is required to approve a budget via ordinance. The city’s fiscal year begins May 1.

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