The Minonk City Council elected to retain 24 hour police protection at a special city council meeting Tuesday night where budget items were reviewed. Alderman Nick Caverra proposed cutting the police hours back to 16 in order to save money. However, the council decided to keep the status quo in regards to the police hours and the police budget.
Alderman Russell Ruestman asked Police Chief John Wherry if it is necessary to have police coverage between 2 and 6 am. Chief Wherry said he felt it was necessary. He stated his research showed there were 81 calls between 2 and 6 am for the past 6 months.
Alderman Ruestman also suggested that the $5000 allocated for improvements to Minonk's nature trail be cut to 0 since there are other areas in the city that could use that money. Mayor Bill Koos said the $5000 was a grant from ComEd and that money must be used for the nature trail.
In other discussion items, City Administrator Austin Edmondson said administrative costs were in line with last year. He said the city could save $9340 by refunding some outstanding bonds. He also said consideration is being given to redesigning the city's web page. Currently, the city spends $2000 annually to maintain the current web page. He also suggested the city look into replacing some of the city street lights with LED lights which will save up to 80% in energy costs.
The new budget includes at least a 2% cost of living increase for city employees which is in line with the current inflation rate of 2%.
Other items approved where $3000 for new basketball hoops at Fieldcrest South and $9500 for microfilming at the Filger Library.
The city will do chipping and sealing of the city streets every two years in order to get a better unit cost on the operation.