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State of the City Address

Posted on: January 6th, 2017

January 3, 2017

Photo by Marta BenderAs we begin a new year, I thought that it might be appropriate to review some of the many items that your City Council and Administration have been dealing with this past year and also what is pending in the near future.


  • The largest project ever undertaken by the City is the new waste water treatment plant that is being built just south of town. That project, coupled with the new pumping and piping installations will provide a state of the art facility that will serve Morrison for decades to come. The total project will cost approximately $19 million and is currently funded through a 20 year low interest loan {1.85%) by the Illinois EPA, and is being paid for by increased sewer rates. The City realizes this is an increased burden on our citizens, but it is the fairest way to address the loan. There will be an additional increase sometime in 2017, but because of favorable bids and the promise of a sizeable principle forgiveness by the EPA, our rates will end up being in line with surrounding communities.  Sometime this spring the City will host an open house at the plant, it is truly impressive.
  • The Council has been addressing our street repairs using the funds generated by the increase in local sales tax that voters approved in late 2014. This has allowed us to repair and resurface most of Wall Street, and in 2017 the plan is to do similar work on Winfield from Route #78 to Orange Street. Additional streets and intersections will be targeted each year going forward. The Council will also begin reviewing what upgrades are required for improving Main Street, particularly in the business district. This will be a major undertaking and require a coordinated effort between the City and downtown businesses.
  • Speaking of streets, IDOT has presented the City with a plan to completely re-do Route # 78 from south of town to the railroad tracks. Funding will likely not be available before 2019, but they are planning on presenting the plan this winter at a public meeting here in Morrison, so stay tuned.
  • In December the Council decided to take advantage of lower interest rates and refinance two outstanding bond issues. This allowed the City to lower payments and free up cash over the next 5 years so that we can address much needed capital equipment updates. During this process the City was able to increase its bond rating by two points, taking us to A+.
  • The City has continued their partnership with the Morrison Area Development Corporation and has approved Revolving Loan Funds for use by a local business to expand, as well as providing some tax incentives to allow another local business to purchase an available building in our Business Park and keep 20 + good jobs here in Morrison. The Council also reinstated a prior program to assist downtown businesses with façade improvements and residents with sidewalk improvements. This is currently a modest dollar amount, but it does help, and the City will review this again at budget time to perhaps consider a funding
  • The above are just a few of the key topics for the Other items that have our attention are the continued beautification of the City, improving blighted areas, improving the utilization of parks, as well as continuing to work with the Chamber and MADC to make Morrison a “I want to live and shop there” City.

Proud to be your Mayor,
Everett Pannier

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