By: Diane Benjamin
Monday’s meeting is going to take more than one story! This is already #2.
Normal will be holding multiple meetings Monday. At 5:30 two items will be discussed: http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3619
If Normal claims the budget is fine when close to half of the population is missing they are either lying or have overtaxed citizens.
At 6:55 there is a Liquor Commission meeting, the regular meeting is scheduled for 7:00
Koos and company must be tired of the Omnibus Agenda being ripped to shreds, so now items are listed separately. Each one that used to pass with no comment before the last election is now listed under General Orders instead.
It appears the “professional staff” is either not able to estimate projects for budgeting purposes or are inflating the budget. Remember the 4/16 meeting where replacing the Jersey Ave water main was budgeted at $980,000 but the bid accepted was only $512,433?
Monday the Council will approve $452,150 for sewer lining when $834,000 was budgeted
Just 2 budgeted items were off almost $850,000!
These aren’t “savings”. The budget was used to increase what you pay for water and sewer. March 2, 2020 your water rates were increase 2% – supposedly to keep the fund balance up. http://normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3566
That increase was expected to generate $193,000. They just spent much less on a budgeted project meaning the increase was not needed. Don’t expect a refund. They will spend the excess somewhere else.
Sewer rates have more than doubled since 2011. This story from November 2019 shows the increases, but it isn’t even accurate anymore: https://blnnews.com/2019/11/04/normals-tax-and-fee-history-comprehensive/
November 2019 shows:
The Town website now shows: http://www.normal.org/501/Utility-Rates
Water rates in the November story are not longer accurate either:
Since the budging on two projects was so far off reality, one has to question if staff is incompetent or if it was planned knowing most of the Council would never notice.
On April 1, 2020 Pam Reece signed a delay in rate increases: http://www.normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/16508/Emergency-Order-20-007—Utility-Fees?bidId=
The Town increases fees every year because they can. A couple months reprieve (at most) doesn’t negate the fact the increases were not needed.
Next: More Koos “friends and family plan” on the agenda.