SECA Receives Small Boost in Funding

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The Special Events and Cultural Amenities, or SECA Commission recently met to come up with their first unified recommendations on how to dole out the funds raised by the one percent food-and-beverage tax in Naperville.

This year, after city obligations, the commission has about $950,000 to distribute, which includes $38,000 from a newly reintroduced two percent escalator, and $13,000 in underspent funds from last years allocations.

“The commission looks at spending from the previous year, in this case they look at the spending from 2017 and all of the receipts have been delivered and the funds disbursed,” said SECA Commission Chairman Gary Kovener. “”Some projects didn’t consume all the money they were allotted. The excess money falls into our list to use this year.”

The increase in funding, even if small, is coming at a welcome time. This year, city service requests increased about seven percent due to a new way the city is determining safety needs.

While this year’s recommendations are being created using the traditional system of subjective judgment, a new points-based system is being trialed in the background.

“After concluding the recommendations to City Council in this way, we are going to go then look back at the projects using these metrics and see what the results are to see if the results conform or don’t,” said Kovener.

The purpose of the new system is to better show applicants what the commission is looking for, and to give SECA commissioners more common ground to discuss projects.

The SECA Commission will meet again on October 27 to talk to applicants and further refine their recommendations.

NCTV17 is partially funded by a grant from the SECA Commission.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.