Reynoldswood back in Mumford mix
DIXON – A proposal to house roughly 4,000 campers at Camp Reynoldswood during the Aug. 18 Mumford & Sons concert apparently is back on the table.
"All along we had hopes to have campers there, and the few logistical issues that had arisen have been resolved," Dixon Main Street Executive Director Josh Albrecht said.
The Christian campsite is at 621 Reynoldswood Road, just outside city limits.
The city-owned Fargo Creek retention dam, which was tapped as a backup campsite, now will be used as a parking lot for about 2,000 cars, Albrecht said. Buses provided by Jam Productions, which is coordinating the event, will shuttle people back and forth to the concert at Page Park.
A $5,000 lease agreement for Fargo Creek will be voted on at tonight's City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Burke said.
Dixon Public Schools will receive $7,500 for the use of Reagan Middle School, and the Dixon Park District already received $7,500 for Page Park. The Al Morrison baseball program was paid $2,500 so campers can use its fields.
Reynoldswood was offered $10,000 at one time, officials said. Burke said he did not know what the final price Jam Productions and the camp have agreed on.
The council also is expected to vote tonight on extending bar hours to 2 a.m. that Sunday, and use Hennepin, Peoria, Highland, Madison, and Monroe avenues for parking.
Lee County Sheriff John Varga said his main concern is how to safely house Reynoldswood campers, including creating lanes where police and emergency vehicles can get to people if needed.
Jam Productions and Camp Reynoldswood officials are working out those issues, Varga said.
The council also will vote tonight on a 3-year contract with the accounting firm Wipfli, which was hired after the city fired comptroller Rita Crundwell to reconstruct the past 6 years worth of audits. For that task, it will be paid $28,000.
If hired as the city's auditor, it will be paid $43,000 the first year, $40,000 the second year and $38,000 the third year, Burke said.
Wipfli does audits for several local governments, including the city of Morrison, the Sterling school district, Sterling Township, Whiteside County and Dixon Public Schools.
Crundwell, 59, is charged with federal wire fraud as part of what prosecutors say was a scheme to misappropriate more than $53 million in city funds since 1990.
After her arrest, the city filed a civil suit in Lee County against its former auditor, Samuel S. Card, CPA, and two companies for which he worked. The suit claims Card and the companies were negligent when they missed the fraud.
Burke said Friday that he still wants to create an advisory task force to look into all forms of municipal government allowed under state law and to recommend one to the City Council within a year.
So far, he's been contacted by 15 people from all walks of life who are interested in being on the task force. He hopes to bring recommendations to the council by late August or early September, he said.
Dixon's unusual form of government has been sharply criticized in the wake of Crundwell's arrest. Under the commission form of government, commissioners and the mayor oversee the city's various departments. A full-time professional city manager is needed, some say.
State law allows five forms of municipal government: aldermanic, commission, managerial, strong mayor, and trustee.
Burke said the city also still is searching for a new comptroller. Of the 25 to 30 applicants, 10 were chosen to be interviewed. Eight interviews have been conducted so far, and another one is scheduled today, Burke said.
The Dixon City Council meets at 6:30 tonight in council chambers at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Agendas and minutes are available at discoverdixon.org under "Form Downloads" at the top of the page, or call City Hall, 815-288-1485.