Toulon to spruce up city with TIF funds

toulonThe City of Toulon sits in better shape than they were last month, now that income, sales and state use tax has come in from the State of Illinois; however, as Mayor Rick Collins warned, the city is not in the clear yet.
Collins presented information to the council showing where income tax revenue from the state will decrease, meaning they plan on keeping more of every dollar. This coupled with a definite loss of $8,400 due to a City of Toulon population decrease, could withhold almost $40,000 in the future.
However, the mayor commended the council’s actions to work towards reducing expenses. He reported the police expenses are down about $25,000 (between paying off a vehicle and reduction of staff), cemetery expenses are down $6,000 and the electricity bill has been cut by $8,000 with rate contracts.
“We run tight,” said alderman Rob Finney in the finance committee report. “If the state hiccups anymore, we’re in trouble.”
Despite the ongoing financial problems in the general fund, one fund remains fruitful and waiting to be used to improve the city, and that is the TIF fund.
TIF administrator Art Whittaker presented a project list, which for the first time in Toulon’s TIF history, gave a listing of current and future projects, and their estimated costs.
After discussion, the council approved to appropriate funds from TIF to the projects listed for 2011 and to address 2012 projects in October of this year. With TIF funds, if they are not used by the end of the year, they must be paid back.
Projects approved or already ongoing include new sidewalks at the school, $10,000 for the Courthouse cupola, Main Street curb improvements, and sewer access for the elevator.
Shane Milroy reported that the East End drainage problem is wrapping up and everyone seems to be happy with the work. The council was even more pleased after it was reported it came in $3,000 under budget.
The council tabled a discussion on a swimming pool ordinance. Currently the City of Toulon does not have any regulations on pools. They plan on discussing it in the future.
Excess property that has been acquired by the city will be sold via sealed bids in the near future. Many items, including two pickups and a dump truck, have not been used for years, but remain on the city’s insurance policy. The city will sell those items and remove them from their policy immediately.
Finally, the council approved a $1,000 donation to the Old Settlers Association. Alderman Larry Hollis stated that he believed this was money well spent as Old Settlers is trying new things and working to improve the community event.

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