By Charles Feldman, Reporter
When it met for the final time in 2019, the Glen Carbon Village Board approved next year’s budget and a tax levy that was $50,000 lower than expected. It also passed a proposal for a bond referendum for street improvements to go on the primary ballot next spring during that Tuesday, December 10 meeting.
The budget for fiscal year 2020 is $29,671,296. Some numbers were adjusted to reflect changes to the preliminary 2019 tax levy. It’s a balanced budget, said Mayor Rob Jackstadt, but this was “probably one of the more difficult ones.”
“Thanks for everyone who was involved in it,” he said.
The vote followed a short public hearing and the passing of the levy and assessment of taxes.
The board approved the levy for Tax Year 2019 in the amount of $2,921,650. This is $50,000 lower than the preliminary version that was approved at the November 12 meeting.
“Last night the Finance and Administration Committee reduced it,” said Scott Borror, village director of finance. “They also reallocated some of the values between the levies as well. The bottom line is that it is slightly lower than the maximum that is allowed.”
He said it was an increase of $56,781 or 2 percent over last year’s levy. “Based on what we project based on information that was provided to us by the assessor’s office of Madison County, we believe that the assessment valuation for the tax year will increase 2 percent,” he said.
“If that does hold to be true,” he continued, “and we’ll find out for sure in the spring, at that levy amount we would maintain basically the exact same tax rate as last year with a nominal difference.”
Income from sales tax is a big help in keeping the real estate tax rate low, said Jackstadt.
“We’re in a unique position to offer real estate taxpayers some relief by keeping our rate low because we have so much sales tax that it helps relieve that pressure,” he said. “We did that by adjusting slightly the levy.
“We always wish we could do more,” he said. “We have unlimited demands and unlimited funds.”
A proposed ballot referendum for the March 17, 2020 general primary election to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $7.4 million to pay for street improvements was approved. This would replace a 2003 bond that now has only two years of debt payments left to go. It would go into effect after the last payment had been made.
“Since we are within that window of time, we can issue a new general obligation bond that would basically take the place of the debt service on the existing one,” said Borror.
Edwardsville NAACP president John Cunningham and board member Paul Pitts spoke after the village passed a resolution to adopt the 10 Shared Principles set by the Illinois Chapter of the NAACP and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police to improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve throughout the state.
“Our desire is that these written principles not just become a piece of written work to be put in a file or posted on a wall,” Cunningham said. “That it encourages the citizens of this community to build a better relationship with law enforcement. That we understand them – that they want to come home at the end of the day while they’re doing their jobs – and our citizens want to come home. And we want to be comfortable with them as they go through their workday as we go through ours.
“And that’s what it’s about,” he said. “Establishing a relationship and understanding each other.
“We appreciate the fact that you have decided to be the first, to my knowledge, in our community to adopt these principles,” he said. “We hope that this action tonight encourages other communities to do the same thing.”
An update on the Old Troy Road Project was given by Brian Kulick of Juneau Associates Inc and Village Administrator Jamie Bowden. Bowden said Charter has not obtained the easement needed to move the utilities remaining on the north leg of the project.
A list of things that need to be completed before moving on to the south leg was provided by Kulick. These include completing the field entrances and sidewalks, preparing the earth to receive the seeding and mulching and installing the signage.
“We are estimating a six-week time frame,” he told the board.
“All these items can be completed under the cold weather.”
Business of the Month for December was Wood Law Office.
In other action the board approved:
• An updated governmental agreement with the Glen Carbon, Troy and Maryville fire departments and the Maryville Police Department adding $50,000 to the overall operations budget of the centralized 9-1-1 communications center to help pay the cost of adding a seventh dispatcher.
• Outside activity by Police Chief Todd Link to conduct 700 hours of internship work outside of regular business hours toward his master’s degree in professional counseling from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. The public is welcome to attend.