Batavia says no property tax increase in proposed budget

 
 
Updated 11/9/2018 4:45 PM
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A glass of water will likely cost more in Batavia next year.

The city council is considering raising the water use rate 3 percent, and the sanitary-sewage-treatment use rate 4 percent.

But the city intends to hold the line on the property tax it charges.

The increase in the sewer charge would help the utility start paying back the $30 million it borrowed this year to expand and modify the sewage-treatment plant.

The water increase will help the city pay for several projects, including an unexpected one: Replacing water mains near Kirk Road and Fabyan Parkway. The work is required by Kane County, city officials say, because the county is going to expand the intersection.

The city also will be replacing sections of mains, and some lead service lines, as it does stormwater sewer work in Wards 1 and 3 (including separating combined sewers), and when it rebuilds Main Street from Batavia Avenue to Van Nortwick Avenue.

A residential customer who uses 3,000 gallons a month would pay about 40 cents more for the water and 68 more cents for sewer service.

The increases are included in the proposed 2019 budget that alderman began discussing Thursday night. The review will resume Tuesday.

City finance director Peggy Colby said no property-tax increase is proposed, and fees for services such as brush pickup will stay the same.

The budget will include money to hire a police officer to be assigned to the North Central Narcotics Task Force. That was included in the 2018 budget, but the city held off on hiring one after the Sam's Club store closed, as it didn't know how much sales-tax money would be lost.

City officials still don't have a firm grasp of the impact of the store's closing, for several reasons: They don't know if Sam's shoppers are now shopping at other Batavia stores, and several stores opened this year. However, sales tax receipts have been declining the past few months, Colby said.

The total proposed budget calls for expenditures of $132.5 million. Of that, $47 million is in the electric fund, and $38.2 million is marked for capital projects. That includes $10 million to begin construction of a new parking deck as part of the One North Washington Place apartment/retail building downtown.

The budget can be viewed online at cityofbatavia.net. Hard copies are available at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.; the public works department, 200 N. Raddant Road; and the East Side Fire Station, 800 E. Wilson St.

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