Naperville Leaders Change SECA Process

Recently council weighed in on several policy changes that the advisory cultural commission recommended for the SECA fund, monies collected from a 1% food and beverage tax that are then distributed to local non-profit groups.

At the meeting, the council approved setting a review process for the future that measures whether the funded events are a good use of SECA money and if there’s an effort for the groups to become self-sustaining.

“We’re trying to look at their footprint every year to make sure that we’re doing the right things and the right time, and can we do better?” said Dawn Portner, Special Events Coordinator with the City of Naperville.

However, some council members feared not all events could wean down their costs.

“A lot of the costs that comes from the bigger events is tied to the police and the events have no say, and the waste pickup is tied to labor agreements, and the organizations don’t have any control over,” said Councilman Kevin Coyne.

That meant another change for SECA. The two largest events that benefit from the funds, Ribfest and The Last Fling, will now be considered separately in their own legacy event funding category, one of six categories used to determine if funding is approved through SECA.

The commission also requested moving $120,000 from the SECA reserve fund of $400,000 to pay the final installment of the Naperville Park District’s Sportsman Park renovation project.

A move many council members agreed was a step in the right direction.

“This is a great way to get it off of there and start with a clean slate on these types of institutions asking for money from SECA that don’t belong in it,” said Councilwoman Becky Anderson.

The SECA commission will continue to work toward changes as the process progresses.

The SECA commission will collect data for two years to determine any changes to application eligibility which would go into effect in the 2019 calendar year cycle.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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