Eldorado City Council will hold a public hearing Christmas Eve as the next step in creating a Tax Increment Finance District to encompass the bulk of its corporate limits.
TIF consultant Bob Vancil presented council with information during Tuesday night’s meeting the city was eligible for a TIF district. Under the TIF council is proposing the equalized assessed valuation — the taxable value of a piece of property — determined by the Saline County Tax Assessor remains at a fixed value for 23 years. If the EAV rises during the life of the TIF, the amount of that increase that property owners will pay in property taxes goes into the TIF fund of the city. The money in that fund can go to infrastructure improvements — such as streets and drainage — and other measures to induce building in the TIF zone.
Council in the past has discussed an arrangement to make available a portion of the TIF money available to the school district so it is not losing out on property tax revenues due to the TIF and the school board has expressed support for the TIF.
The board decided to hold a public hearing 10 a.m. Dec. 24 on the TIF to be followed by the regular meeting at 11 a.m. and the 11:30 a.m. Christmas meal for city employees.
During reports from commissioners, Shannon Deuel asked citizens to lock vehicles up and remove keys from vehicles as thefts remain frequent.
Water and Sewer Superintendent Tom Hosman asked council to reverse its action on approving the bid of Raben Tire for new tires for a city backhoe. Hosman said due to an error, Best One Tire’s bid of $1,638 was actually about $500 lower than Raben’s. Council agreed and approved the Best One bid.
Street Superintendent J.B. James said street crews continue to pick up leaves left at curbs, but only if they are bagged and preferably in a clear bag. Citizens have asked if they may still take leaves and yard debris to the city’s burn site at the south end of town near the sewer plant when it is open Saturday and Sunday and council said they may. Fire Chief Mike McKinnies said usually when citizens take the items there they burn them, but burning is not allowed on Sundays.
There has been a problem with dumping of garbage in the past at the site and Commissioner Jeff Minor said officials have gone through garbage dumped there to get names for prosecution.
Mayor Rocky James said citizens should not be surprised to see him stop by if they take leaves and limbs to the site. He lives nearby the site.
“If I see somebody down there I’ll drive down there,” James said.
Commissioner Robby Price presented to the council a packet of information for their perusal relating to rental codes.
“A lot of other communities are looking at changes at rental properties. I’d like other council members to look at codes for rental properties,” Price said.
Price said he hopes council can address the subject in future meetings.
James expressed sorrow over news of the closing of Willow Lake Mine just a few miles from Eldorado on state Route 142.
“I heard today they closed the mine down at Equality. We need to pray for those people, about 400 people. It’s a bad time of year with the holiday season and they are going to get hit hard,” James said.
While the mine is bad news for families depending on income from there, James had some good news for Eldorado senior citizens. The Eldorado Golden Circle will remain open following action taken at a meeting of Golden Circle for the southeastern Illinois region.
“They voted to keep our Golden Circle open. That’s big for our senior citizens and good for Eldorado,” James said.
James pledged support from the city in helping the center collect money.