ROCK FALLS – When the Rock Falls City Council opened up bids for an auditing firm, its finance committee found one that'd already proven itself.
The council voted 6-0 Tuesday, with aldermen Jim Schuneman and Brian Snow absent, to approve a 3-year auditing services contract with Sikich LLP from Naperville.
The contract is not to exceed $45,500 for fiscal year 2018, $46,500 for fiscal 2019, and $47,700 for fiscal year 2020.
Sikich had already been providing auditing services to the city for the past 3 years, but, City Administrator Robbin Blackert said, “The city passed a resolution some time ago that every 3 years, regardless of whether we’re happy, we put out for a request for proposal."
Meetings will probably start in February to get a timeline down for gathering materials for the audit. Sikich is expected to spend two weeks in Rock Falls in June or July to perform the audit.
The council also approved a request from Rock Falls police to purchase 22 portable digital radios from Lectronics Inc. in Clinton, Iowa, for $17,710. The new radios will allow the department and Sterling police to set up encrypted channels for special details, or particular duties.
Administrative Commander Doug Coppotelli said the money for the radios will come from the Blackhawk Area Task Force's asset forfeiture fund. The new purchases will include the radios, charging units, and shoulder microphones. The department last purchased radios in January 2008.
Daehle Reitzel, George Logan Jr., and Violet Sobottka also took time to pass along to the the public some timely advice. The council members reminded people to to check their smoke detectors and use caution when using space heaters during this prolonged and bitter cold snap.
Deputy Fire Chief Bill Milby said in the past 2 years, there have been 21 fire deaths within a 70-mile radius of Rock Falls.
Two of those fires hit particularly close to home
Timothy and Melissa Shaw and their children, Ethen, LeAnne, Hailey, and Dylan, all of Dixon, died Nov. 21 in a fire at their Dixon home, and five Rock Falls residents – Patrick Hopkins, his wife, Mary Hopkins, and their children, Maggie, Donovan, and Katie Jo – died Jan. 13, 2016, in a fire at their Second Avenue home.
"We're looking at getting involved with the Be Alarmed program through the state," Milby said.
The Be Alarmed program, administered by the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, distributes free fire safety education materials and 10-year sealed-battery smoke detectors to fire departments throughout the state, which then distribute the materials in the community and install the detectors in at-risk homes. Go to ifsa.org/programs/alarms for more information.
The City Council will next meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in the council chambers at the Rock Falls Municipal Building, 603 W. 10th St. Agendas are available at shawurl.com/37hz.