Naperville City Council met with city staff for the first of three scheduled budget discussions.
A large part of the meeting was spent talking about the investments the city makes in service levels, especially public safety.
“From the residents of this community, we know they value their public safety services and they appreciate them from citizen surveys with satisfaction rates at 94 percent for fire and 86 percent for police, far exceeding regional and national values overall,” said Deputy City Manager Marcie Schatz.
Part of the new budget recommendation included the creation of a new position – Police Department Deputy Director – which would cost the city $147,000 per year.
The fire department also requested replacing one of their ladder trucks – a $1.3 million cost – as the current truck costs the city around $50,000 in repairs each year.
Some councilmembers questioned whether these costs were necessary in a year where the city budget is expected to increase by about $10 million. Others felt the extra investment into public safety was worthwhile.
“I’m fine with what I heard from public safety,” said Councilman Kevin Coyne. “I think clearly we need to have a strong police and fire. I think given the opioid and mental health issues we’re dealing with now, I think what they proposed, to me, I was satisfied with it.”
A new service that was discussed involves implementing software to allow the municipal center to hold administrative hearings.
This would cost the city $95,000, but would create savings and convenience over time.
“Having on site adjudication of these sorts of violations will not only be convenient for our officers who are staffing that, but to all of our customers who will no longer have to go up to Wheaton or take a day off work to process those adjudications,” said Schatz.
Staff said they will return with answers to many of council’s questions at the next meeting on November 13.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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