DeKalb City Council to have final say on library levy abatement

Volunteer shelf reader Paul D. Mandico organizes the shelf space Feb. 28 at the DeKalb Public Library.[]

DeKALB – After a motion to abate the DeKalb Public Library’s 2015 property tax levy increase was approved by the library board Wednesday, the DeKalb City Council will have the final say Monday.

The library board acted on the abatement after being assured by the Illinois State Library that the remaining $1.1 million it was owed from the state to finish construction of its new facility was on its way. After receiving around $3.5 million from the state in January, the board maintained no action would be taken.

Members of the public have been critical of this decision, especially DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith, who had said it would be unacceptable not to abate the levy, especially after commitments were made to reduce the amount in 2015 once the state funds came in.

Returning the 2017 library operations levy to the 2014 tax rate will result in an annual levy of $2.05 million, a roughly $250,000 reduction.

The abatement, however, is still contingent on the library receiving the remaining $1.1 million before the March 15 deadline.

Also on Monday’s agenda is the first reading of a proposal by developer Jim Mason to amend the city of DeKalb’s Unified Development Ordinance to would allow indoor self-service storage facilities to occupy vacant commercial space. The proposal was approved by the DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission without opposition by a 5-0 vote in February.

The DeKalb City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the council chambers of the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.