S. Beloit gets last-minute budget surprise

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SOUTH BELOIT - The South Beloit City Council approved the 2018 city budget Monday, but a recent letter received by city officials about anticipated costs for a consolidated 911 dispatch system caused last-minute changes.

City Finance Director Don Elliott told the council he received a letter last week from the Rockford Fire Department indicating the estimated cost to the City of South Beloit for a consolidated 911 dispatch system would be an estimated $146,000 a year. He said that amount was not accounted for in the 2018 city budget. He said the additional funds could come out of the newly created Capital Projects Fund.

The total 911 dispatch consolidation would cost about $6 million, with municipalities throughout the county paying a share.

The 2018 budget shows $5,212,300 in the General Fund, down from $5,530,200 in the General Fund in 2017. Elliott said the decrease is mostly accounted for in the creation of the Capital Projects Fund, which has $305,000 in it.

The Capital Projects Fund was created to pay for needed improvement projects in the city. One particular project councilors saw a need for funding was street maintenance and repair. The goal is to set aside about $300,000 a year for special projects such as street repair, which mostly is funded now by motor fuel tax revenue.

In other business, the council approved purchasing a new security camera system for City Park, not to exceed $25,000.

The system, provided by M. Spinello and Son of Rockford, would include 16 wireless cameras. Two of the cameras would be of the high quality to allow recognition of license plates, said South Beloit Public Works Superintendent Jeff Reininger.

The city installed security cameras in the park about five years ago at a cost of about $4,000 because there was a rash of property damage and vandalism. Over the years the system had additions, but Reininger said the new system is needed because the old cameras are not meeting the security needs in the park.

Reininger said there have been some continued incidents of property damage and vandalism in the park and it is hoped the new system will help police identify future suspects.

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