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Annual report shows Town of Normal in strong financial position


A new report on the financial condition of the Town of Normal shows higher fund balances than at this time last year. The increase of close to $3.5 million across all funds comes from increased consumer spending related to growth in the community's workforce.

In the report to be presented at the town council's meeting Monday night, town staff said the previous year's strong recovery from the pandemic also contributed. The town has fund balances totaling nearly $79 million. Total current assets are $108.2 million and current liabilities are $29.6 million. The report's section on financial trends shows fewer negative factors than last year and a bump up in positive indicators.

Sustainability plan

At the meeting, the council also is expected to consider hiring the Hile Group to help update the town's sustainability plan. That will include listing what has been accomplished since the last plan in 2010, holding public focus groups, identifying and consulting various stakeholders, doing a public survey, and creating a draft and final plan.

Staff have noted that a boom in renewable energy technologies, an abundance of grant funds targeting sustainability initiatives, and greater impacts of climate change on communities across the country have all happened since the last plan came out.

The Archer

The town is poised to move ahead with a proposed apartment complex development at Raab Road and Linden Street.

Town council members will decide Monday whether to annex part of the land into the town, change the zoning from agricultural to medium density family residence, and approve a preliminary planned unit development for the project, called the Archer.

Morton-based Ethos Design and Build wants to put up a 136-unit apartment complex that would include six buildings on nearly 10 acres next to the Constitution Trail.

Parking management

The town wants to install license plate reading cameras in its parking decks.

The council will decide whether to spend up to $300,000 to change the parking management system. The current one is going out of business at the end of the year and technology has changed in the nearly 10 years it's been in place.

Town staff said getting in and out of decks will be easier with an app and mobile phone-based payment system coupled with the cameras to record the vehicles and the times they come in and leave. The town already uses the technology for on-street parking enforcement in Uptown. Staff said 70% of parking deck traffic is by permit holders.

Flock cameras for police

After trying out license plate reading cameras, Normal Police want to enter a five-year contract with Flock Safety. Police have said they use the data in investigations and have cleared burglary and other cases as a result of the footage.

The contract would total nearly $360,000 if council members sign off at the meeting.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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