Champaign City Council focused on storm water improvements

The Champaign City Council discussed a five-year financial forecast and the financing of storm water improvements at a session Tuesday night at the City Building.

Richard Schnuer, Champaign finance director, said the forecast does not predict the future of Champaign finances, however, the forecast has shown to be affective in preparing Champaign for the future.

“The budget is manageable,” Schuner said, explaining the slight increases in inflation and sales taxes in Champaign occurring in the future.

The council members also discussed the five-year forecast and the changes that will occur in the budget of Champaign.

“Looking at the forecast, it looks like there is work ahead,” said Karen Foster, a Champaign City Council member.

The main focus of the study session was the discussion of the financing of storm water improvements in the Champaign community.

Representatives from three watershed areas were present to address their concerns about the recent flooding and water damage in the community.

The John Street watershed committee said a new drainage pipe needed to be installed yesterday and cost sharing may help in achieving the drainage project.

Schnuer said the city council has dedicated a significant amount of dedication and commitment to the issue of financing watershed drainage and developing effective drainage systems.

A majority of the City Council did not support the idea of cost sharing regarding the financing of storm water improvements, but they were in favor of a drainage utility fee for Champaign residents.

“These are longer goals and long-term aspirations,” said councilman Tom Bruno.

These improvements and changes will affect not only current residents, but those who are living in Champaign 40 or 50 years from now, he said.