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MATTOON -- Approximately 80 percent of the $4.6 million in property tax revenue sought by the city's new levy will go to covering pension costs.

The Mattoon City Council heard this report before approving the proposed levy at its meeting Tuesday night. The council also heard that plans related to extending the city's recreation trail west to downtown and adopting a bicycle route plan for Mattoon will be moving forward early next year.

City Finance Director Beth Wright said approximately 80 percent of the new levy's revenue will be set aside for fire and police pension costs and about 10.5 percent will go to funding the Mattoon Public Library, leaving the remainder for other city funding needs. The new levy will seek $4.6 million, 7.9 percent more than the $4.3 million collected by the previous one.

Wright said the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of all the taxable property in the city limits is projected to increase, so the tax rate applied to individual properties will decrease. She said the increased EAV will result in a slight decrease in the city's share of tax bills. For example, she said the bill for a $100,000 home is projected to decrease by about $7.13.

In other matters, Public Works Director Dean Barber said the city will seek bids in early January for demolishing the former public works building along Richmond Avenue in March.

The demolition will be funded by the city's remaining infrastructure bond revenue. This Richmond property will be used to help extend the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail west from 10th Street to the Mattoon Area Family YMCA. The recreation trail project will be funded by a federal grant administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Mattoon's portion of the trail will be incorporated into the community bike route plan that the Ride Illinois nonprofit group is developing with funding from the Lumpkin Family Foundation. Council member Rich Hall said the proposed bike plan will be presented to the council in January.

Other actions taken by the council included:

  • Accepting the $205,588 bid from AEC Fire Safety & Security, Inc. for replacement self-contained breathing apparatus and associated equipment for the Mattoon Fire Department. The purchase will be paid for with the help of a $200,000 federal grant.
  • Approving a home occupation application special use permit to allow Taylor Beals to offer dog grooming services at 712 S. 34th St.
  • Allocating a $5,000 hotel/motel tax fund grant to the Mattoon Youth Wrestling Club for hosting the 2019 Mattoon Kids Open on Jan. 6 and $2,500 to the Midwest Pickleball Association for hosting the Illinois Indoor Pickleball Championships on Jan. 4-5 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
  • Approving a $1,744 water and sewer billing adjustment on behalf of the Sarah Bush Lincoln Regional Cancer Center due to a water leak.
  • Ratifying the appointment of Kari Jones to the Mattoon Arts Council.

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Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @RobStroud


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