Council Trims Budget Amid Revenue Loss

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The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically affecting revenue streams across the country and the City of Naperville is no exception. With revenue loss in mind, Naperville City Council deferred nearly $25 million in capital projects to a later date.

Several Projects to Defer

City staff provided the list which included projects like the Downtown Streetscape improvements and the Washington Street Bridge renovation. Downtown merchants have contacted the city saying they don’t want streetscape work done this year out of fears it would drive away business when they’re allowed to reopen. City Manager Doug Krieger said the Washington Street Bridge will now most likely be redone in 2022 or 2023.

The city’s Director of Transportation, Engineering, and Development Bill Novack said last week that some of the projects on the list were chosen because they were likely to take longer to complete anyway due to zoning, construction, or other delays.

Federal Money Could Help

City Manager Doug Krieger said there will be money coming in in the form of federal assistance. DuPage County received $162 million last week to help residents and communities within the county. Krieger said he doesn’t know how that money will be distributed, but if they did it on a per capita basis, Naperville would receive between $17-18 million. Will County also received federal money for distribution.

“Despite the fact that we have a pretty substantial and sort of scary hole in our budget going forward here, we do have some financial assistance that’s coming our way as well as all the other municipalities,” added Mayor Steve Chirico. “As well as all the other levers we have to pull – our reserves and our debt rating and deferment of capital.”

Monthly Updates

Krieger also said Finance Director Rachel Mayer will be providing monthly updates on where the city stands beginning at the next meeting on May 19. There is, however, often a 2-3 month delay in receipt of revenue, so the full revenue loss impact of the last two months might not be known by then.

Council passed the ordinance unanimously.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.