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Dateline Dixon: Considine wants city to ‘protect’ recovery money

Strategic planning to determine how to spend what's left

Published: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Commissioner Dennis Considine doesn’t want money the city recovered from the Rita Crundwell theft to be used to fill budget holes or pay for other projects without the City Council’s approval.

In its budget for the next fiscal year, the city will use for the River Street sewer project $1 million of the money it received from a settlement with its former auditors and from the sale of Crundwell’s assets.

Crundwell, the former comptroller, is in federal prison serving a sentence of nearly 20 years for stealing nearly $54 million from the city.

After the sewer project expenditure, and after paying off some debt and placing some money in reserves, the city will have about $11 million left. That money will be a topic of discussion during strategic planning, Finance Director Paula Meyer said during the city’s budget workshop Monday night.

Using some of the recovery money to pay for the sewer project, Meyer said, was justified because it will affect about 25 percent of the city, and the sewer system was one of the pieces of city infrastructure that suffered from a lack of money.

Meyer recommended the City Council have an action item on its next agenda approving the use of the recovery money.

“I still want a process to protect the recovery funds so that we all are under the same agreement that we bring before council and the [city] administrator,” Considine said, “before we commit or spend a dime more of that money.”

Considine and Meyer will work together on an ordiance, Considine said Tuesay, to prevent anyone one from committing additional recovery money without the consnet of the City Council.

“Citizens of Dixon do not want us to empty the money in one bucket and out the other one and throw it out the door,” Considine said Monday.

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Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

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