Council to look at alternatives to fire department fee

Council to look at alternatives to fire department fee

DANVILLE - Just two weeks after proposing a monthly $8 fee to generate more money for the Danville fire department, Danville aldermen will take a look Tuesday night at alternatives that include departmental cuts rather than a fee, or a smaller fee with cuts.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said those are some of the options for which aldermen have requested information, so city administration will provide as much information as possible on those options, for discussion only, at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal building at 17 W. Main St., Danville.

It was at a budget study session Jan. 18 that Eisenhauer first proposed an $8 monthly fee for all residences, businesses and organizations that receive a sewer and solid waste bill. The flat fee would generate more than $1 million in revenue specifically for the fire department.

Since then, city administration had announced that it would be presenting an amended proposal for a tiered fee that would charge businesses more than residences, for example.

Last week during the city council's public services committee meeting, aldermen requested information about various options, including possible cuts in the department as an alternative to the fee. Alderman Steve Nichols, Ward 6, said he believes a tiered fee system would be a disaster for the city.

Eisenhauer said city administration are still working on a tiered system, but he doesn't know when a proposal will be ready for the council. He said right now, city administrators want to get the information aldermen have requested on these other options to them quickly, so they can be discussed.

The fee proposal was part of the mayor's first presentation of the city's proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins May 1. The city council still has several weeks before a final budget will be considered for approval.

Also at Tuesday night's meeting, aldermen will meet in closed session to discuss purchasing three properties.

Eisenhauer said the city is planning to purchase three properties that it has had a long-term interest in for future development. Eisenhauer would not disclose the location of the properties except that they are all in the same area. He also would not disclose any details about plans for future development of these properties.

"We've been working on these properties for a long time," he said.