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Tensions rise at City Council budget hearing

Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville Council met May 2 at City Hall to hold a budget hearing on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.

Norm Simrock was the only citizen in attendance at the meeting, though he brought several points to the council’s attention regarding their budget and budgeting process. Simrock pointed out to the council that the format of the budget was incorrect and that the budget should have been adopted prior to the beginning of the fiscal year. For the city, the fiscal year ends on April 30 and begins May 1.

Tensions rose between Simrock and the aldermen as Simrock went over his allotted time to discuss the budget. The meeting was adjourned only 11 minutes after it was called to order.

During the regularly scheduled city council meeting, the council approved the budget, with minor adjustments to be made to certain line items. After the meeting, Kim Harber said the attorney would be reviewing the budgeting process.

The salary raises discussed at the April 18 meeting were approved and the ordinance revising the salaries was passed.

The School Resource Officer contract was extended for three years. Police chief Dave Haley noted that the only changes to the contract were changes in pay. The Carlinville School District will reimburse the Carlinville Police Department in the amount equal to the department’s hiring of a second year, non-probationary officer for 180 days. The total cost for the district is estimated to be $58,860 for the 2022-23 school year. The reimbursement will increase each year along the same lines as a pay raise. The estimated cost for the 23-24 school year is $60,625.80, and for the 24-25 school year the district will reimburse an estimated $62,445.60.


Mayor Sarah Oswald appointed committee members. Julie Griffith is the Carlinville Police Pension Secretary. Courtney Dugger is the Carlinville Police Pension Appointed Member.

Haley was reappointed as the Chief of Police and Donald Craven was reappointed as the City Attorney. Bob Anderson and Bill Fanning were appointed to be City of Carlinville Police Commissioners.

On the council committees, Alderman Bill Link was appointed as the chairman of the Public Works committee, co-chair is Alderman John Levora. Aldermen Harber, Vicky Wagstaff and Dick McClain are also on the committee. The Lake committee is chaired by Todd Koller and co-chaired by Dick McClain. Wagstaff, Doug Downey, and Randy Ober also sit on the committee. Public Safety is chaired by Levora and co-chaired by Ober. Harber, Koller and Downey make the rest of the committee. The Finance committee is chaired by Harber and co-chaired by Levora. Link, Ober, and Koller also sit on the committee. The tourism committee is chaired by Downey and co-chaired by Wagstaff.

Other Business

A resolution for the use of Motor Fuel Tax funds (MFT) for the maintenance of streets was passed. The resolution appropriated $160,000 of MFT funds for maintenance of streets and highways in Carlinville, including shoulder maintenance, culvert, signage, and street surfacing.

The council received a request from Charley Sullivan for the use of the Gazebo on the Carlinville Square at 2 p.m. on May 14 to host a small wedding. No other events are scheduled at the time and the council gave its approval.