ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Police Department has a new Deputy Chief in its ranks.
Deputy Chief Jeff Leininger took the oath Monday evening at a swearing in ceremony led by Sue Messer with the City of Rochelle.
Leininger joined the police department in 1998.
Following Leininger’s ceremony, city manager Jeff Fiegenschuh acknowledged Rochelle Police Officer Elvis Baneski for his 21 DUI arrests made in 2017, bringing the department total to 54. Baneski has led the department in DUI arrest six times since joining the force in 2008.
Fiegenschuh also acknowledged the city of Rochelle’s financial excellence award, given to Chris Cardott, City Finance Director. The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) is for the fiscal year 2016 by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada.
This is the fourth year in a row the city of Rochelle has been awarded the CAFR.
City council members approved the ordinance for the preliminary and final plat for the Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores subdivision near Interstate 88 and Steward Road. Construction could begin as early as spring with a target completion date this fall.
A public hearing was held regarding the additional areas to the Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone. These include the specialized healthcare facility in Rochelle, known as Manor Court and a self-storage business, Annchor Road Storage, in Dixon. The total addition is a little over 23 acres. Lee-Ogle zone administrator Andy Shaw said the Amboy and Mt. Morris parcels are pending the outcome of the respective village meetings.
Council approved an ordinance amendment for subdivision and zoning applications. The revisions in the ordinance will require a deposit of $500-$2,500 to $1,000-$10,000 dependent on the project’s complexity. The amendment allows for an additional deposit once the balance reaches a quarter of the original deposit, with any unused balance to be refunded.
Council approved an ordinance for a non-exclusive, non-permanent easement for the water service line for Errett Warehousing near Seventh Avenue.
Council also approved an engineering agreement for a water main replacement located at Turkington Terrace and McConaughy Avenue. The agreement includes professional services to design a water main replacement project of about 1,500 feet. The agreement with Fehr Graham also includes construction management services at a cost of $46,400.
City engineer Sam Tesreau along with Chris Cardott, Finance Director, discussed a possible ordinance amendment to increase utility taxes through the next five years. The presentation included several projects that have been completed from the use of utility tax funds, including sidewalk repairs, the School Avenue bridge, Wiscold Drive project, local street construction, and asphalt patching conducted by the street department.
The current tax rates have been in place for over 20 years. The proposed tax increase for electric is based on usage and amounts to $4.89 for residential customers, yearly, and about $11 for commercial customers. The proposed increase amounts for natural gas are between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent for industrial, commercial, and residential customers. State statutes allow for a five percent increase.
No decision was made at Monday evening’s council meeting. Mayor Chet Olson was absent. Councilman Tom McDermott was appointed Mayor Pro Tem.