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Posted on: November 17, 2021

From the Mayor's Desk

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City Council Update – 15 Nov 21

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, we need to remember all who will be working on the holiday so that the rest of us can enjoy the holiday.  Thank you to all of them – City workers and non-City workers alike.

Let’s not forget the last lawn waste pick up will be the week of 29 November to 3 December.  Also, as always, Christmas tree pick up will be during the first two weeks of January.

We have always been blessed to have an outstanding fire department and one whose members are worthy of promotion.  At the Council meeting we were pleased to promote Jason Williamson, a 28 year member of the SFD, to Deputy Fire Chief.  He was pinned for this promotion by his father retired Sterling Fire Department Captain Gerry Williamson.

Trevor Meyers, a 16 year veteran of the SFD, was pinned by his daughter, Ellison, to the rank of Captain.   Adrian Avelar, a 9 year SFD veteran, was pinned by is wife, Stacey, to the rank of Lieutenant.  Congratulations to all three of these highly qualified and dedicated firefighters!

Public Works reported that all construction projects are on schedule to be completed in the very near future.  IDOT looks to be completing their paving on 4th Street.  Soon Sterling residents won’t have to feel like “rats in a maze” in trying to get around town.

Sauk Valley Community College appeared before the Council to discuss the new Impact Program and to solicit financial support from the City.  This program allows young people to earn free tuition at SVCC by doing community service while in high school.  Similar programs around the country have been shown to be highly beneficial to the communities who participate.  The first students to benefit from this program will enter SVCC in 2025.

Much discussion was held concerning the levying of bonds for various City projects and for the unfunded pension liability.  Bond interest rates are at a historic low.  Even better, while the bonds carry around a 2.5% interest rate, we can earn from 5.5 to 6% return on the invested money.  This could save Sterling residents just short of 10 million dollars over the next 16 years.  

These bonds will also help stabilize the payments we are required to make by the State of Illinois for the police and fire department pension funds.  The Council will continue discussion of this and probably take action at one of the Council meetings in December.

The Council took action to work with NIU to evaluate and update the City Strategic Plan.  Using input from a variety of sources, the updated Plan will help guide City Staff and Council in setting priorities and making decisions in the future.

Everyone loves fireworks on the 4th of July!  However, these fireworks are not free.  Please support the Jaycees’ Bucket Brigade in Sterling on December 4th!   

Don’t forget that same weekend is the Sterling Christmas Sights and Sounds Celebration!  

Our next Council meeting will be on 6 December 21 at 6:30 pm in Council Chambers

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