Decatur, IL – The Decatur City Council began its review of the 2024 proposed City budget during a study session on Monday night. This was a special meeting and no action was taken.
These individual budgets were covered: Risk Management, Executive, Legislative, Human Resources, Legal, Finance, Civic Center, Police, Fire, Economic & Community Development, and Public Works General Fund. Highlights from some of the departments are:
During the Public Works discussion, Council learned about plans that reflect their commitment to rebuild and maintain the City’s infrastructure. They indicated they would love to see more roadwork but recognized that asphalt prices and other costs are still elevated. In general, Public Works reported the average local road score is holding steady while slightly declining. They are reviewing options to maintain the quality of roads as best they can while construction costs continue to rise.
Council reaffirmed their support for the Decatur Police Department and thanked officers for their work. Chief Shane Brandel said the department has responded to public requests for increased speed enforcement and cell phone enforcement. He reported that motor vehicle crashes have decreased and shootings are down as well. Moving forward, he sees recruitment as improving and believes that in 2024 or early 2025 the department could be back to fully staffed. The Chief was thankful for receiving new technology and the ability to replace existing equipment at a more frequent rate.
Thanks to the agreement on a new fire contract, the Decatur Fire Department will attempt to fill two vacant fire inspector positions in 2024, and the Fire Prevention Program could resume. Council said they will continue to support facility upgrades and equipment replacement as it’s needed.
A lot of work will continue in the Economic & Community Development (ECD) Department in 2024. The City is expected to invest more in the Jasper Street Great Streets Great Neighborhoods project (stay updated at www.jasperconnect.org) as ECD continues to improve the Jasper Street corridor. Demolitions of unsafe structures will continue, and home rehabilitation projects will ramp up as well. ECD also plans to scale up neighborhood cleanup programs for both residential and business properties.
The City Manager’s proposal is a balanced budget. Total expenditures in the recommended budget, excluding interfund transfers, are $265.3 million for 2024.
Another budget study session will occur on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. After that, the budget will be revised based on the Council’s suggested amendments. The budget will next be submitted for a public hearing and community input phase. The Council can again amend the budget to reflect public feedback before taking any final votes.
To review the entire proposed budget, visit www.decaturil.gov/departments/finance/city-budget/