Special Meeting on Muni/Police Building & Financing


A special meeting Monday of the DeKalb City Council and the Financial Advisory Committee is set to examine two Municipal Building remodeling/building options with emphases on police station space needs and improved access for people with disabilities.

The Good
One of the options presented includes a proposal to sell off city property worth $2.2 million to help finance a renovation and addition.

The Bad
We don’t know where the rest of the money will come from. Perhaps some bucks have been “freed up” by the debt restructuring. After paying some employees twice for not working and having the General Fund balance dip to $22,000 recently, it’s uncertain whether they can make a solid case for it, though.

Maybe some of the renovation will qualify for TIF funding, but if we are going to have the discussion we must have more information in hand about the current and projected performance of our TIF districts. The Muni Building lies in TIF 2, which is small and services Barb City Manor improvements plus a few alley and sidewalk rehabs each year. TIF funds would necessarily have to be transferred from the downtown TIF district, but the last hurrah of pavers and planters was financed through GO bonds, yes? So stellar tax increment performance may be in doubt?

Arguing that the 20% higher expenditure for the second option would be more cost effective over the long haul may be a moot point!

The Miscellany

I predict that at least one of the two longest serving members of the council will un-ironically express a sense of urgency to begin the project, despite bearing some responsibility for the 12-year delay in addressing the police station space problems in the first place.

Additionally, it’s mildly surreal reading about the city’s need to make the Muni Building accessible to people with disabilities at the same time it’s building an obstacle course on downtown sidewalks.

Let’s make this an open thread so you can choose your own topic if you like. Have you taken the tour of the new DHS yet? Tell me about the piano.