The blueprint for the new year

I would like to wish all our residents a happy and blessed 2023. Our team at the City of Rochelle is looking forward to a productive and eventful year. In December 2022, the city council adopted the spending blueprint for the new year. This plan fully funds the priorities established by our policy makers.

The proposed general fund revenues for fiscal year 2023 are estimated to be $13,405,888.  Expenditures for the new fiscal year total approximately $14,702,934 with general fund capital outlays of approximately $1,010,000. The projected deficit, which is spending of funds we have on hand, of $1,297,406 includes additional capital, spending American Rescue Plan Act funds (received in 2022 and spent in 2023) and hiring additional police staff to cover further anticipated retirements. 

Projects funded by transfers from the landfill, the non-home rule sales tax, utility tax and motor fuel tax are included in the capital improvement fund and not part of the general fund balance.  The utilities (electric, water, water reclamation, advanced communications & technology center, railroad, landfill, golf course and airport) proposed budgeted expenses are $68,816,595, of which $17,143,391 is for capital outlays. All other funds, including special, capital improvement, downstate police and fire pensions and internal service total $23,081,950. 

Aside from power purchase and personnel costs, our largest investments this coming year are in the form of capital investments. One of the most vital functions of your local government is continued and renewed investments in capital planning. As part of our 2018 strategic plan, the mayor and city council asked staff to develop a long-range capital improvement plan that laid out capital expenditures for the next 20 years. Staff implemented this requirement over a three-year period beginning with a 10-year plan. The organization now operates with a 20-year spending plan that prioritizes spending and maintains adequate revenues. The plan will help future staff and council members best determine spending priorities and assist in finding new sources of revenue, including applying for grants.

Some of the capital projects slated for funding in 2023 include the design of an iron removal plant at the Caron Road water well, completion of the City of Rochelle Railroad transload project, design and construction of 10 miles of new 34.5KV line that will tie all of Rochelle Municipal Utilities’ substations together to increase reliability, continued updates to our downtown area (funded through a Rebuild Downtown Illinois grant), continued street resurfacing and sidewalk, lining and rebuilding sanitary sewers and sanitary sewer manholes, reconstruction projects and continuing to rebuild outdated storm sewers and catch basins throughout the community.  A full list of the 2023 expenditures along with the approved 40-year plan can be found on the City of Rochelle website.  I appreciate the continued support of our mayor and city council for setting the policy priorities for the community and supporting our continued capital funding efforts.  Finally, success breeds success and our community would not be here today without the dedication of my wonderful staff. They all work each day to implement the policy initiatives set by the city council and they represent the community well.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”-Maya Angelou

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine-and the shadows will fall behind you.”-Walt Whitman

Jeffrey A. Fiegenschuh, ICMA-CM, MPA, is the city manager of the City of Rochelle.


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