Naperville first-quarter finances | New public forum timer | Meson Sabika among tops for brunch

NCTV17 News Update slate for May 3, 2023 update on first-quarter finances with drone shot of Naperville city hall in background
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Naperville’s 2023 first-quarter financial report

Naperville’s Director of Finance Rachel Mayer presented the Naperville City Council with the 2023 first-quarter financial report during last night’s meeting.

City expenditures remain in line or below budget, particularly for electric and water.

The Capital Improvement Program is off to a good start, officials said, but delayed projects such as the Columbia Street reconstruction and the North Aurora underpass improvements are reducing the need to issue debt.

Real estate taxes within the city are down 40% from 2022’s first-quarter. Although this number seems significant, city officials said it was expected to decline due to record highs of the previous year.

Time’s up! City council adds new public forum timer

Also at last night’s meeting, city council implemented a new timer for public forum speakers. Each speaker has three minutes to share their two cents on a topic as usual. But once their allotted time wraps up, a buzz goes off from the timer.

Mayor Scott Wehrli pointed to answer timers from recent candidate debate forums as inspiration for the new addition. He said it will allow speakers to conclude statements without being cut off.

Curbside bulk brush collection starts next week

With spring yard cleanup underway, the City of Naperville will be starting its curbside bulk brush collection program on May 8.

Residents can place large bunches of branches and tree trimmings on the parkway in front of their homes for pickup.

Collection dates will correspond with the weekly curbside garbage collection schedule, with the brush collection cycle taking one week to complete for each sectioned-off district. That schedule can be viewed on the City of Naperville website, along with details about what will and won’t be accepted in pick-up.

DuPage Forest Preserve opens some amenities this weekend

This weekend the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will be opening a few of its popular amenities.

The Greene Valley scenic overlook offers a view of DuPage County and the Chicago skyline from 190 feet up. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting, from May 6 through October 29. Admission is free. The main entrance to the overlook is on the west side of Greene Road, just south of 79th Street.

The Blackwell Family Campground offers 64 different camping sites, and will be open Friday and Saturday nights from May 5 through Columbus Day weekend, with some holidays open as well. Permits can be purchased online, and must be bought three business days in advance.

More outdoor fun kicking off May 6 are rentals of canoes, kayaks, rowboats or paddleboats at Blackwell.

Meson Sabika named among the 100 most popular brunch spots in the U.S.

Naperville’s Meson Sabika made it onto Open Table’s 2023 list of 100 Most Popular Brunch Spots in the U.S.

The Spanish tapas-style restaurant was one of only seven Illinois restaurants to make the list. Five of the others are in Chicago, with the sixth being Beatrix in Oak Brook.

The rankings were made using over 13 million Open Table diner reviews, which were made between March 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023. They looked at overall diner rating, user’s online influence or “klout,” regional rating, and the number of reviews, then filtered those for “good for brunch” reviews.