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  • Fairbury News staff

Council meets remotely

The Fairbury City Council approved the city’s 2020-21 budget Wednesday night.

During the regular council meeting held remotely over the phone, Alderman Jerry Hoffman expressed concerns about the impact of coronavirus on the budget.

“I think we should approve it to give us a starting point, but we may want to revisit it once we see what happens to the tax dollars,” Hoffman said.

There is future uncertainty regarding sales revenue and motor fuel money which means the city can approve the budget and amend it later.

“For the budget next year, we did reduce our estimated income by almost $200,000 and that was due to the coronavirus,” explained City Treasurer Dale Diller.

Hoffman made the motion to approve the budget with a second from Alderman Bill Schmidgall.

During his police report, Chief Robert McCormick noted the community is adapting well to social distancing and the current stay-at-home order as there haven’t been any major issues. A situation that warrants police intervention would likely be a social gathering above the 10-person limit, according to the chief. Violators could receive a notice to appear in court for reckless conduct.

City Superintendent Brett Ashburn reported that staff is at City Hall during the day to cover the basic hours of 8:30-3:30 in case residents call. The city is not allowed to do water disconnects at this time and Ashburn asked council members if they would like to waive late fees for this month. The group agreed to waive the fees for now.

In another matter, the council approved the employee compensation ordinance to basically put in last year’s increases with new rates based on reviews.

“We will plan to revisit this later also,” said Mayor David Slagel.

It was also revealed at the meeting that there is a downstate small business stabilization program available for all Illinois businesses. The city will try to schedule a hearing the week of April 27 on the matter. This will be done remotely with further details to be announced at a later time.

The council approved the purchase of a street sweeper and authorized the consent agenda which included Mar. 18 minutes, voucher invoice report, check register and overtime report.

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