City Council approves 2021 fiscal year balanced budget

By Kendra Hennis
The Tuscola City Council began their night at 7 p.m. with a fiscal year 2021 study session to allow council members to go over any questions or concerns of the budget. During this, City Treasurer Alta Long went over the specifics of the budget and provided a more in depth look at some of the expenses, and revenues.

The City Council then called their regularly scheduled meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. on June 22. Following the approval of the consent agenda, the board moved to approve the fiscal year 2021 budget adoption. Kleiss noted that the council had tried to be prepared, and thus was well prepared for the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kleiss thanked the current and past city councils for their hard work in maintaining a balanced budget.

Kleiss also noted that the fiscal year 2021 Appropriations Ordinance is now available for public review. The notice was amended to that due to COVID-19, and a copy can be requested and sent to you. It is also available on tuscola.org.

The board also discussed the next phase of the reopening plan and their plans moving forward. With Illinois moving into Phase 4 of the Reopen Illinois plan, indoor dining can be opened at 50 percent capacity. The council has decided to end the outdoor tents on Main Street and at Mi Veracuz. However, they decided to keep the tent outside of the community building for another 30 days. Mayor Kleiss said, “I really like what they are doing for the music scene. I would like to make this available for anyone to be able to bring their food over and enjoy the music scene.” Kleiss noted that both Joe’s Pizza and Mi Veracruz were okay with the changes. The council noted that these events were still to be under the 50 person limit with safety measures encouraged.

In his City Administrator’s report, Drew Hoel addressed the water supply issue. We have not been receiving volumes of water that we are accustomed to from Champaign. There was a problem with a valve at one of the pump stations that has been resolved. The situation has been improved but we still have not been able to fill the water tower. There are also concerns of leaks in Arcola that they are looking further into.

The council also:

* Approved Drew Hoel as City Administrator for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Craig Hastings as Police Chief for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Mike Salmon as the Building and Electric Inspector for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Brian Moody as Fire Chief for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Dennis Cruzan as the City Services Foreman for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Andrew Bequette of Becker & Webber for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved Alta Long as Treasurer for the annual term of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.

* Approved the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals/Sign Board of Appeals of Steve Hildendorf, Gerald Reynolds, Terry Poindexter, Brett Adkisson, Randy Hastings, Alan Hettinger, and Brad Bennett.

* Approved the Arcola/Tuscola Joint Waterline Board of Drew Hoel, Alan Shoemaker, and Troy Rund.

* Approved the Liquor Board of Mayor Kleiss as Commissioner, Curt McDaniel, and Bob Utterback.

* Approved the fiscal year 2021 Wage and Salary Schedule with a two percent wage increase.

* Approved the minutes of the June 8 regular board meeting.

* Approved the May 2020 financial report.

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $118,561.59.

* Adjourned until the July 13 regular board meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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