ROCHELLE — Beginning the first of the year, Rochelle residents will see an increase in monthly waste collection fees increase $1.64, to $13.00.
The move comes from ongoing efforts by the city leaders to reduce the budget deficit, and subsequent transferring of moneys from the solid waste fund to cover the gap. Rochelle City Council approved the increase at Monday evening’s meeting.
City manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said out of five surrounding communities, Rochelle residents will still pay the lowest even after the increase. Tim Isley, Superintendent of Streets and Cemetery explained the increase covers the cost of trash, recyclables, and brush and leaf vacuuming services.
“The leaf collection, I believe is a necessity, otherwise they are blowing around and in the storm sewers, clogging the drains,” Isley said.
Councilman Dan McDermott added the complaints from leaf burning have been greatly reduced with the curbside leaf vacuuming service. Residents are advised to place leaf piles in the parkway and not in the streets.
Council approved an ordinance creating an early separation incentive program eligible for any employee age 60 or above with 15 years of service. The enrollment period will be effective from Dec. 1, 2017 through Feb. 28, 2018. The date of separation would be from Feb. 1, 2018 to Jun 30, 2018. Paid health insurance premiums for two years are included in the package.
The city could save over $1.3 million over a three-year period with the incentive program. The positions left vacant will not be filled for a minimum of two years.
Engineering services agreement
Council approved a preliminary engineering services agreement with Willett
Hoffman and Associates for an intersection design study for traffic signal at IL Rte. 251 and Steward Rd on the city’s southern end. For several months, city staff has been working with a developer regarding the northeast portion of the intersection. Now that the engineering services agreement has been approved, IDOT will begin the next step of the review process.
In an effort to trim expenses, council adopted a resolution approving a proposal from AJ Gallagher with the Illinois Municipal Insurance Cooperative (IMIC). The approval means an initial savings of 25 percent or $161,764 while increasing all lines of risk insurance coverage.
Council heard a presentation from a representative with AJ Gallagher regarding the city’s risk insurance, which expires annually on Dec. 31. Since 1997 the city has participated in the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association. IMIC is a cooperative consisting of 18 municipalities in the region.
“This change would broaden and leverage our risk with controlling costs and mitigating future increases,” said Fiegenschuh.
Other benefits besides the initial 25 percent cost reduction include additional savings on Workers’ Comp of around $23,000, and yearly grants of about $5,000 to use toward safety related supplies or training.
This would be effective Jan. 1, 2018.