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City approves budget, earmarks $3 million for pensions

DIXON – The City Council signed off on its budget earmarking $3 million toward fire pensions Monday and recognized the contributions of an outgoing councilman.

Injecting $3 million into the fire pension fund will bring it above the $10 million mark, which will allow for more investment flexibility and could lead to higher returns.

That would also lower the city’s required annual pension contributions and alleviate pressure of pension increases eating up money that would normally go toward capital improvement projects.

The city’s fiscal year 2020 budget starts May 1, but it will be up to the fire pension board to decide on the best market time to invest the funds.

The $3 million will be split up using $1.5 million from the Rita Crundwell recovery fund, $1 million from capital reserves, $430,000 from the emergency vehicle fund, and $70,000 from a special fire fund.

The money will be repaid to the funds over time from savings on annual contributions.

A council farewell

Councilman Kevin Marx gave his thanks and appreciation to a room full of city officials as Monday marked the last meeting of his council term and said it was an “honor and privilege” to serve.

“You have brought a level of dedication that we’ve all appreciated and that has been very beneficial to the work we’ve all done,” Councilman Mike Venier said to Marx after thanking him for his service to the city.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said he was always impressed with the questions Marx would ask and knew they would be important to council decisions.

Marx is the chief practice officer at KSB Hospital as well as executive director of the Lee County Industrial Development Association. He has worked at KSB since 1978, was chairman of the Dixon Plan Commission for a decade and was appointed to the City Council in 2015 to fill the spot vacated by Jesse Arjes.

He lost his seat in the April 2 consolidated election to Mary Oros, an agent at Harrison Insurance Agency and motivational speaker for the United Way of Lee County, who will be sworn in next month.

Next meeting

The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. May 6 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

Go to or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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