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Normal Town Council: A Tamed “Realistic” Proposed Budget, Trail and Road Upgrades

Written by on February 7, 2024

NORMAL, Ill.- The Normal Town Council held their first council meeting of the month on Feb. 5.

Presenting a more cooled projection of finances for the town of Normal, Financial Directed Andrew Huhn presented the proposed budget for the city with a five year outlook, highlighting slowed revenue growths, strong debt payments and what raised eyebrows of those not in the financial loop, a “planned deficit” for Normal this year.

Huhn elaborated that the town would see revenues around $94 million compared to spending of around $96 million on the books, due to the fact that Normal would be committing more funds to pay for needed infrastructure repairs such as with roads and sewer work. The town would also pay down more of its liabilities regarding pensions, which results in the slight deficit for the 2024-25 fiscal year for Normal.

The proposed budget doesn’t remain completely in the red, however, as Huhn showed that this plan would result in revenues greater than what the current plan is projected to earn, expecting a bump of 3% compared to the existing plan. The revenues are expected to be sourced from sales tax revenues as well as management of inflationary costs.

The finance director also highlighted while revenue growths will continue for Normal, his team predicts the town will expect a more realistic growth in the coming years. With outlier years such as Rivian’s entry into the area in 2016 or the post-pandemic resurgence in 2022 growing the towns revenues in double digit percentages over the previous year, the town should expect to see more stable single digit percentage growth within the coming years as no major plans are forecasted.

 

In other business of the council:

-Pamela Reece made a note near the beginning of the meeting that this marks the first meeting with the cities new parking system inside of city hall, requiring drivers to register their vehicle with the Passport parking app. While most council meetings are held at 7 p.m. which falls within the free parking time range, this meeting was held earlier at 5 p.m. Audience members who drove were given complementary parking for the meeting.

-Approved design services of $10 million were approved to upgrade College Avenue nearby Rivian’s facilities. The project is being largely subsidized by state and federal grants.

-Finalized the budget for a $1.3 million expansion for the Gregory Street Trail from Adelaide Street to Parkside Road.

The town’s next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on February 19, 2024.