By Margaret Downing, REPORTER

 At the Nov. 21 South Beloit City Council meeting, Commissioner Linda Chambers explained that the Council had drafted a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  She noted, “We now have a budget and it is on display.”  It is not yet approved. A public hearing was set for Nov. 28 and Commissioners will vote on a final budget Dec. 5. City Treasurer Don Elliott added that the City’s finances are currently down $220,000 “from one year ago.” Another item on the agenda dealt with the City submitting an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) for a $300,000 Brownfields grant. City Clerk Tracy Patrick explained, “This is a community-wide proposal that can be used anywhere within city limits. The first phase of the grant project, if awarded, is for the City – in conjunction with the community, – to prioritize sites for assessment and redevelopment.”

The definition of “Brownfields” per the US EPA website is as follows:

Brownfields are properties that may have hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants present. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides grants and technical assistance to communities, states, tribes and others to assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse these contaminated properties. Cleaning up and reinvesting in brownfields protects human health and the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off green spaces and working lands.” The City of South Beloit has several such sites.

A resident who lives in the 1100 block of Dorr Road was present to discuss the $36,811.16 in sewer bills that she owes the City. The homeowner was seeking a penalty waiver for her property. The Council, after hearing of her situation, decided to put the subject off until January. The City is seeking $145 a month in payments for six years to pay off what is due. A total of $266,548.75 in bills covering the Nov. 5-18 time period was approved for payment. During the Police Report, it was noted by Commissioner Tom Fitzgerald that burglaries have been committed at different locations recently. Vehicles at FasFuel were broken into; an armed robbery on Shirland Ave. was committed and trailers at a campground were broken into recently.

The topic of flood zones was discussed due to new state requirements, which will cause premiums to rise for property owners in a flood plain, some, according to City Attorney Roxanne Sosnowski going as high as 18 percent. Because of the new 2016 State of Illinois “Flood Plain Management Program,” flood plain areas have actually been extended to cover more land due to changes in flood plain mapping. The Mayor and City officials recently attended a Conference on the subject as municipalities affected (which also include Roscoe) can participate in this program, which could help property owners. More information will be forthcoming in the future.

A pay request (No. 2) to Kelsey Excavating, Inc. for the 2016 Sanitary Lateral Improvements in the amount of $250, 051.04 was approved. A resolution authorizing the City to apply for a map amendment and special use permit for City property in conjunction with the Confluence Project was passed. An ordinance amendment regarding retail liquor licenses was approved.


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