St. Charles considers $2.5M in money-saving ideas
When the City of St. Charles asked the public for money-saving ideas, the public responded. Residents, business owners and city employees submitted more than 130 ideas for the Sustainability Initiative. The suggestions city staff is recommending for approval could save St. Charles $2.5 million, according to city documents.
“I think the list that has been compiled represents a great opportunity for us to make some long-term structural changes in our ongoing budget process,” Mayor Donald DeWitte said.
The Sustainability Initiative was launched last summer with the intent to develop a balanced and sustainable financial plan.
City Administrator Brian Townsend, who did not return repeated calls for comment, presented the recommendations to aldermen last week. Suggestions included changing street lights to LED lamps, using the community restitution program for additional buildings and grounds maintenance, charging employees more for health insurance and suspending funding for the landscaping grant program.
“The council seemed very pleased with the list that was presented,” DeWitte said.
“Based on the council’s response, which was encouraging, I believe the vast majority of these recommendations will in fact be implemented into the 2011-2012 budget.”
Of the ideas, DeWitte noted the reduction of a fourth truck at the fire department, an idea expected to save $800,000 to $1 million – mostly through overtime compensation, he said. He said no jobs will be lost and that the suggestion was contemplated before the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District decided to end its contract with the city.