Sewage plant work, development incentives behind Batavia budget increase
Two major expenditures are behind a 32 percent increase in Batavia's proposed budget for 2017.
First, the city intends to spend about $18 million to start expanding its sewage-treatment plant.
Second, it may spend an additional $10 million in its downtown tax-increment financing funds, mostly for the One North Washington Place development.
Aldermen will discuss the proposed $132.2 million budget again at a committee meeting Tuesday. They are scheduled to vote on the final budget Dec. 5.
The city's finance director estimates that by the end of 2016, it will have spent $100 million.
The budget, as well as lists of aldermen's questions and the answers to them, can be found on the city's website at cityofbatavia.net.
The city will begin a five-year upgrade of the sewage treatment facility, estimated to cost $70 million, in 2017. It will increase capacity and install measures to bring the city in to compliance with stricter federal rules about how much pollutants can be released in to the Fox River.
The city is purchasing property for the One North Washington Place development, an apartment-and-retail building proposed for the northwest corner of Washington and Wilson streets. It also will pay to tear down the former First Baptist Church and the current city parking garage, and for the construction of a new, larger parking garage as part of the development.
The city has approved a redevelopment agreement with the developer for all this. Neither the plan commission nor the council have voted yet, however, on detailed building plans.
The project would be located in a proposed new tax-increment financing district.
TIF funds also could be used for incentives to redevelop the former Walgreens site on Wilson in to a Blue Goose Super Market. Aldermen will talk Tuesday about transferring money earned from the sale of some property from the general fund to the TIF fund for that. (The TIF fund would eventually repay the general fund, according to a memo on the transfer.)
The proposed budget calls for increasing the monthly fee for brush and leaf pickup at least 50 cents, to $4.50. A fee increase would require a separate vote.
And it calls for increasing spending on drainage-system work by about $436,000 over what was spent in 2016. That could be covered in part by a proposed $300,000 increase in the amount of property taxes the city collects, which aldermen will also discuss Tuesday.
The proposed budget includes money to add a communications coordinator and an administrative assistant for the city administrator.