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Troy Passes Tax Levy and New Alcohol License Restrictions For Gaming

By Stephanie Malench

TROY — The Troy City Council met for the last time in 2023 on Dec 18, after a Truth In Taxation hearing required by law for a property tax levy increase of 5% or over. A levy increase is not equal to an increase in taxes property owners pay. Less than a handful of residents showed up to the hearing and none made public comments about any questions or concerns they may have had.

The City of Troy asked for a 12% increase, or $216,000. The increase is needed to give city public works employees raises that will keep the salaries comparable with the rest of the municipalities in the area and will go into the general fund exclusively for this purpose.

City Attorney Fred Keck said, “in my professional opinion, our EAV has gone up so much the last two years with all of our annexations and additional properties we are taking in and the EAV is expected to go up this next year, I do not believe we will realize an increase even from the tax rate we had from this last year.” The ordinance was approved later in the meeting.

Mayor Dave Nonn used his moment to address the council to wish everyone a “very Merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays”. City Attorney Jay Keeven and City Attorney Fred Keck had nothing additional to share.

Police Chief Chris Wasser reported that the evidence purge is still ongoing but will not be completed by the end of the year as planned. Wasser also said he sent a survey out to all his officers soliciting feedback for what they would like to see done differently in 2024. The board approved hiring Jessica Callahan as a lateral hire police officer to begin in mid-January. An ordinance was tabled until the next meeting `to hire an assistant police chief.

Tom Cissel, City Engineer, reported a draft of language for a new zoning plan for mixed use development on both sides of Highway 40 between Mains Street and Formosa Road will be delivered to Building and Zoning Administrator Linda Taake on Dec. 19, 2023.  Cissel said IDOT “loves it and thinks it is great and asked if they could expand it beyond the area”. The plan incorporates the bike path and will reduce the number of driveways that cut across the bike path by having streets off Highway 40 every 1,000 feet. The new developments will be mixed use and walkable with shared parking lots.

Clay Street Phase 2 black topping was scheduled to be finished on Tuesday. The water main permit has been received to replace the water main under Main Street so the project will be able to be put out for letting in the beginning of 2024.

In other Public Works news, Director Rob Hancock announced the metering project is nearly complete except for a few odd sized ones that need to be ordered and the 816 radios to read the meters will be installed soon.

The last two ordinances passed in the meeting pertain to the city’s liquor licenses as they relate to gaming. The rationale for the ordinances was requests from the community to not have any more gaming parlors. The ordinances amend the chapter on amusements under business regulations and the chapter on alcoholic beverages under business regulations. The license fee for each gaming terminal increased from $125 to $250. Only establishments with Class B, C, D, E, and G liquor licenses will be allowed to have gaming terminals on site, as these establishments can only sell alcohol to be consumed on the premises and not resold. Licenses B, C, D, and E cannot have more than 50% of their revenue come from gaming. The fee for a Class G license where gaming makes up over 50% of the revenue increased from $400 to $750. The limit for Class G licenses will be 5 and there are currently 7 issued. As of Jan. 1, 2024, if a current Class G business lets its liquor license lapse by more than 30 days, the license will terminate and will not be renewed unless a Class G license is available.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, due to the New Years Day holiday.

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