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Amboy still wants $7,000 to help fund senior center

City asking board for money denied because of missed deadline

DIXON – The Lee County Board still hasn’t distributed some $10,000 in funds that are sitting in an account designated for social services.

And it likely won’t do so soon.

The city of Amboy wants what it believes is its fair share of that money, which it would use to help fund its community building, which doubles as a senior center.

“The money is just sitting in an account,” Mayor Tom Nauman said Tuesday afternoon. “They’re not using it. We still feel it’s our money.

“We were hoping they would give us last year’s share, ... but the way they’re going to approach it is they’re going to throw it all into the kitty again and re-evaluate who needs it the worst and go from there.

“We thought it was still ours. ... We’ve asked several times for it. But they’re not budging because they’re trying to send a message.”

The Lee County Board in September rejected Amboy’s request for money because the city had sent a late request for its $7,000 share of a $100,000 senior tax levy; the city missed the deadline because the paperwork was mailed to the community center, not City Hall.

The board allocated most of that money to the Lee County Council on Aging, which runs the Dixon Senior Center.

The city – now convinced it will not receive its share from last year – is going to proceed with an application for its share for next year, Nauman said Tuesday at the Lee County Board meeting. The money would be used to heat and maintain the community building, where a meal program for seniors is run.

The Finance Committee last month recommended the county disburse $7,077, relinquished by the Tri-County Opportunities Council.

Tri-County earlier this year gave backs its share of the senior tax levy because it ended its Community Care program. Tri-County will not reapply for a share of the levy.

Some county board members on Tuesday suggested the board table the issue until next month, after budget talks are underway.

“We don’t want to misappropriate,” said Kasey Considine, who also is on the finance committee. “We want to make sure that, when we give money to Amboy, it is most needed there.”

The finance committee has asked various organizations to submit “balance sheets” so the committee can determine the funding needs of the organizations.

“Do we want it to sit in the bank, or do we want to give [the money] to the seniors, who need it the most?

“It’s not going to be used for capital projects. ... it’s going to be used for the community center – right to the people. But we need to take a look and see what organizations need it the most.”

Board agrees to pay $60,000 for animal control site

DIXON – Things are moving along for Lee County Animal Control.

The Lee County Board on Tuesday approved spending $60,000 to buy 2.5 acres at the Lee County Business Park on state Route 26 and Interstate 88.

The Dixon City Council on Monday voted to allow animal control to build its new facility in the business park. The Dixon Plan Commission in late June did the same.

The Lee County Board also on Tuesday discussed spending up to $275,000 to build the new office building and dog pound. But the board hesitated to set a specific amount without an estimate from an engineer.

"I'm uncomfortable about setting an exact figure when we don't know what [the costs] are yet," board member Dave Gusse said. "I like to know what I'm paying for."

The board instead chose to obtain an estimate and put the project out for bid. It hopes to have bids back by its meeting next month.

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