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Beloit City Council Meeting Recap

On Monday night, the Beloit City Council met for a little over an hour. The council held a public hearing to consider a resolution to adjust some Beloit Transit bus routes. Route 1 has seen some time shaved off, while Route 6 will now continue to McNeel School. Route 6 will also now stop at Copeland and Porter before going back to the west side of town and will also go by the high school. Route 2 had some timing issues and would meet with the other three buses at Piggly Wiggly but was arriving late causing missed connections, in order to allow a smoother transfer. The Gateway bus will now go past Fran Fruzen Intermediate School. The hope is these modifications will fix the timing issues. Three meetings have been held and there has been great feedback. New rider guides should be available soon. The council approved the changes.

A public hearing was then held on the ‘22 Community Development Block Grant and the 2022 annual action plan. The plan includes affordable housing, and is a reiteration of the cities consolidated plan. The city is anticipating $640,000 in funds, with $220,000 to be paid back. SOme money is also being put back into fair housing but if not spent in 18 months gets reallocated. That money is $5000 and creates a total revenue of $865,000. The Public Service Cap is at $132,150 or 15% of total funds, while the Planning and Administration cap is 20% at $172,000. There is a total of $109,000 for public services. The budget also includes money for the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) of which the program funds come out to $156,000 in grant money. Code enforcement comes out to $86,000 for program income, $84,000 for the grant, and $170,000 total. There was then a public hearing on the matter.

A third public hearing was held on the 2022 home investment partnership program. The city is estimated to receive around $190,000 in new grant funds, and $19,000 in home and administrative dollars. The city also anticipates $195,431 in program income and $766,530 in prior year funds for ‘22. The Community Development Authority also recommended $100,000 in owner-operator loans, with 75% of that going to the NeighborWorks Blackhawk region for down payment on home assistance projects. The other 25% goes toward administrative expenses with up to $940,000 used for acquisition rehab and new construction in NRSA. The funds have been slowed by a lack of bids. The proposed HOME budget comes out to in excess of $1.1 million.

A fourth public hearing was held on the 2022 operating, library and capital improvements proposed budgets. The budget sees an increase of a little more than 50%, or over $49 million from 2021, while the General Fund increases 3.04% or a little more than $1 million. Enterprise Fund Budgets increased by about $850,000 to around $21 million. The primary drivers of the increase are the CIP and the Special Revenue funds. 2022’s budget was affected by the addition of seasonal city hall employed. Construction increased to 8.67% from 1.95%. Just under $200,000 will be used for Personal Property Aid, which is higher than normal. The General Tax Levy increased by $1 million or just over 6%. The levy is slowly being shifted out of the general fund and into the transit fund.

The council then amended ordinances of multiple properties to change their zoning, and they were approved. One property however was denied by the planning commission for its “unconventional request” to turn a single family property into a multiple family property.

The council heard a first reading to increase driveway widths from 20 feet to 24 to 30 feet. The motion was laid over.

The council heard a first reading of repealing and recreating sections of the Code of General Ordinances to ward boundaries. The redistricting process could affect the city’s ward map, and the boundaries need to be adjusted to follow the new census data. The polling places have also been slightly adjusted with a few moving locations. All voters will be notified of these changes. No polling places are closing. The map will be made public. The council laid the topic over to another meeting.

The council then went into appointments for committees, with two people being appointed. Those were approved.

The council then discussed a resolution to discuss Beloit entering the WI Green Tier Legacy Community Program. Wastewater treatment improvements and improved sustainability were among the reasons for entering. According to the DNR, Green Tier empowers organizations on the path to sustainability by helping them with a systematic approach in order to reduce the environmental risks they face. Legacy Communities are local government leaders who prepare for their futures as well as building resilient communities that are also sustainable. The GTLC “advances sustainable, efficient practices to stretch local government resources” according to the DNR. The council agreed to join. The council then went into closed session.

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