DIXON – The merger between Dixon Main Street and the Riverfront Commission moved a step closer to reality.
The City Council unanimously voted to place the merger contract on file during its regular meeting Monday night. It could be finalized during the next regular City Council meeting.
If the merger is approved, Main Street will absorb the day-to-day operations of the riverfront and also will create a new events and marketing coordinator position, which has been posted on Main Street's website for several weeks.
Part of the salary and benefits for that position will be paid for with city funds.
"We're very excited for the opportunity, and we hope the council sees it the same way," Main Street Executive Director Josh Albrecht said of the merger.
The recommendation to merge the two entities came in September, when a three-person committee studied Dixon Tourism, Dixon Main Street and the Riverfront Commission.
In other action
The City Council voted 4-1 to approve the use of $1 million from the money received from the settlement with its former auditors and the sale of former Comptroller Rita Crundwell's assets to pay for part of the River Street sewer project.
The vote against came from Commissioner Dennis Considine, who said he saw a need for the work, but didn't think that money was the best way to fund it.
Considine said the city made a "foolish mistake" to freeze the sewer rates, which it did in December, because the city could have generated money from those rates to pay for the work.
The 5-year rate freeze was approved 3-2, with Considine and Commissioner Dave Blackburn voting against the freeze.
The City Council placed on file an ordinance that would increase the number of sergeants in the Dixon Police Department from five to six.
It was the success of a 3-month-old test, Police Chief Danny Langloss said, that made the addition of a sergeant necessary.
"What we've done is, we've restructured and created a new division called Street Crimes," he said. "And that division was created to attack the growing drug problem in the area, with a strong emphasis on heroin."
The department needs a sergeant to run that division, Langloss said, because of the division's high-risk nature, its high-liability nature, and for general supervision.
When the division was created on a test basis, Langloss said, an acting sergeant position was created. That position will be made formal as the division's success made Langloss see it as a department necessity.
"We experimented with the restructuring, and we – in 3 months time – have executed more than 10 search warrants [and] taken off one of the largest heroin dealers in the area," Langloss said. "... After seeing the success of uncovering so much more, we decided to formalize that [division]."
In all of last year, the police department did three drug search warrants, Langloss said, compared to the 10 in the new division's first 3 months.
The City Council also placed its 2014-15 fiscal year budget on file.
There will be a public hearing for the budget during the next regular City Council meeting on April 21, and the budget could be approved during a special meeting on April 30.
The Dixon City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. April 21 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.
During that meeting there will be a pubic hearing for the budget.
The City Council will meet for a special meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 30, to vote on the budget.
Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.