City council: 2023 budget approved

At its meeting Monday, the Rochelle City Council held a public hearing for and unanimously approved its fiscal year 2023 budget.

Discussion held on new radios for city departments

ROCHELLE — At its meeting Monday, the Rochelle City Council held a public hearing for and unanimously approved its fiscal year 2023 budget. 

The final proposed 2023 general fund revenues are budgeted at $13,405,888. This represents an increase of approximately 10 percent compared to the original approved 2022 budget. Budgeted expenses total $14,702,934, which is approximately 11 percent higher than the 2022 budget. This results in a budget deficit of $1,297,046. 

"The reason we run a deficit this year is because we've been very fiscally responsible and have a very large general fund cash balance that we need to start spending down," City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said. "That deficit is going to cover capital projects and hiring three new police officers in anticipation of future retirements."

The combination of the general fund, special revenue funds, enterprise funds, internal service funds, trust and agency funds and capital project funds results in budgeted revenues of $96,251,524 and budgeted expenses of $106,616,478.

The council also approved a capital improvement plan for 2023 through 2042. That plan is used for the evaluation and identification of the capital infrastructure projects in need of renovation, repair, and/or construction along with the equipment or vehicle replacement over the next 20 years. 

The first year’s program contains projects that are included in the 2023 city budget. The remaining 19 years reflect staff’s recommended priorities in the future.


The council and staff held discussion during the meeting on the potential future purchase of Ion Smart Radios for its electric, water and water reclamation departments.

The initial investment in the radios would be $186,981 and the cost per year over an approximate 10-year lifespan would be $18,698. The individual cost to departments per year would be $6,233. Fiegenschuh said if approved in the future, the street department would likely be included as well.

The radios offer the opportunity to consolidate work phones, on-call phones and radios and offer safety features such as GPS, a mayday button and immediate access to 911 dispatch.

Fiegenschuh said a proposal regarding the radios will be brought before the council at a future meeting.


The council approved an agreement with Baecore Group for $48,293 for professional enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise asset management (EAM) services.

The city is near the end of a two-year process of updating its softwares city-wide. The Baecore agreement will allow it to finish that project in coming months.


Two swearing in ceremonies were held for Rochelle Police Department promotions.

The first was held for the promotion of Ryan Beery to sergeant. He's been with RPD since 2014 and has served as K9 officer for the past seven years. Beery is currently assigned to patrol on the day shift.

Joe Sester was also promoted to sergeant within the department. He's been with RPD since 2011 and is currently assigned to patrol and the night shift.


City Clerk Rose Hueramo said the filing period for city council petitions ended at 5 p.m. Monday and a ballot placement lottery will be held Dec. 7 at 8 a.m. at her office for the primary election for incumbent council candidates John Gruben, Tom McDermott and Bil Hayes. That lottery will be open to the public.