DIXON – The Dixon City Council approved taking care of some of its debt.
During its regular meeting Monday night, the City Council unanimously approved allocating a portion of the $40 million Rita Crundwell settlement funds to pay back three bonds early, saving the city nearly $4 million.
In early November, Midland States Bank, which was owed the majority of the money, and Sauk Valley Bank agreed to let the city pay off its bonds early, which the banks weren’t required to do.
The balance on the three bonds at the end of October was $12,316,000, Finance Director Paula Meyer said in November, adding that the total repayment would have been $16,184,610 if they weren’t paid off until 2018, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
The city ridding itself of some debt is a “wonderful thing,” Mayor Jim Burke said during the meeting.
“I think we’ve made it very clear to the public that retiring and getting rid of some of this debt was going to be a priority,” he said. “So I don’t think anybody will be surprised at the action that we’re taking here on retiring this debt.”
The city in September reached an out-of-court settlement for $40 million with its former auditors CliftonLarsonAllen and Janis Card and Associates, as well as its former financial institution, Fifth Third Bank. The city said they were to blame for Crundwell’s theft of nearly $54 million in the past 2 decades. Crundwell was the city’s comptroller.
The City Council on Monday also unanimously approved an agreement for preliminary engineering services with Wendler Engineering Services Inc. and Willett Hofmann & Associates for the downtown streetscape project.
The agreement will pay the two firms a combined $320,929.96.
A public meeting for the project could be held after Jan. 1.
The 2013-14 tax levy was unanimously approved Monday at $3.7 million, approximately $100,000 more than last year.
During its Dec. 18 regular meeting, the City Council will be given its year-to-date financial summary.
The Dixon City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.
Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.