STATEMENT OF MAYOR BRANT WALKER AT CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON JULY 22, 2015:
We have no proclamations tonight but I do have one announcement.
The Governor’s proposed reductions in the Local Government Distributive Fund have affected not only Alton but all municipalities in Illinois. It has been extremely challenging to find a way to continue to provide vital City services with decreasing revenues.
In constructing a budget for this fiscal year, I, along with the City Council, were forced to make very difficult decisions. One of those decisions was the elimination of the Animal Control Department for the City of Alton. When we made that decision, I was confident that through the work of the Public Works Director that an acceptable alternative could be found to continue to provide those services at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Unfortunately, that plan did not come together in a timely fashion. While we will continue to find ways to reduce expenditures and live within our budget, we cannot eliminate all Animal Control Services without a viable alternative.
The City of Alton today received confirmation that it will receive unexpected revenue from a reimbursement from the Corps of Engineers. I asked the City Treasurer and City Comptroller to work this afternoon and this evening to re-run our budget numbers based on this unexpected revenue. Because of this unexpected revenue, I can now recommend to the City Council that we fund Animal Control for the rest of this fiscal year.
Later in the meeting, I will ask that the City Council suspend the rules to amend our budget to make line item adjustments as recommended by the City Council. Included in those amendments is funding for the Animal Control Department through March 31, 2016.
I wanted to ensure that all of you, and those who have signed up to speak, were aware of this late breaking development prior to moving forward with tonight’s meeting.