EFFINGHAM — The Effingham City Council unanimously approved the local 2021 tax levy Tuesday at their first meeting of December, clearing the way for a 3% reduction in the top-line rate.

The 2021 levy will come in at $4,920,978, with the rate dropping to 1.26%, a 3% drop from the 2020 total in which the levy come in at 1.3% exactly. The city estimates that the city’s equalized assessed value (EAV) will come to $310,399,818, from which the levy and the rate are calculated. In total, the city will get $21,259 increase in tax revenue into its coffers over taxes extended last year as a result of the new levy.

The reduction in the rate came after the council desired a lower burden for local taxpayers in comparison with their neighbors throughout the county. City officials feel that they are in a position to where they can weather a small drop in the rate without doing damage to the overall economy.

City Administrator Steve Miller said any changes from previous levies is relatively small, even when taking the yearly change in the primary numbers.

“(There’s) no other changes,” Miller said. “Again, it’s what we have talked about (in previous meetings).”

In other matters:

• The council approved revisions to an agreement made between the city and John Boos & Co. regarding drainage improvements slated to be made to their property. The city clarified how detention areas on the property would be split up if they were sold to separate buyers. The core of the agreement remains unchanged.

• The council approved a $16,018.15 proposal for exercise equipment for the Effingham Police Department by ProMaxima Manufacturing LLC, based out of Houston. The proposal would allow for the purchase of equipment that would be used by the department in a gym-like setting while officers are off duty. Rank-and-file officers raised money through their Fraternal Order of Police lodge to assist with the proposal.

• The council approved an agreement with Crawford, Murphy and Tilly on the installation of a new wastewater generator at the city’s main treatment plant. The $32,000 payment will be made from the city’s Sewer Fund and will allow for them to relocate the old generator to the Banker Street Pump Station.

• The council approved the resignation of Jerry Steppe from the Fire and Police Commission and approved the appointment of former Effingham County Sheriff and Illinois State Police Trooper Dave Mahon to the board for the remainder of his term. The term will expire on May 1, 2023.

• The council discussed various infrastructure projects being built throughout the city over the course of the past year, including the installation of a new ultraviolet disinfectant at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, new drainage in the Rollin Hills subdivision, street resurfacing, pavement preservation, sidewalk replacement and the installation of a new water main on Outer Belt West.

• Police Chief Jason McFarland recognized Joseph Kingery and presented him with a Citizen Service Citation for his efforts in helping to capture a person of interest in a shooting incident on Nov. 11.

• The city recognized the winner and runners-up of the city’s Christmas card contest. Lucy Monical, a fourth-grader at St. Anthony Grade School, won top prize, with her card professionally printed and going out to all city contacts. Tinley Patton, a third-grader at Central Grade School, received second prize and Bella Schultz, a fourth-grader at St. Anthony, received third prize. Both received $50 gift cards and a set of their cards to present to friends and family.

Zach Roth can be reached at zach.roth@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at (217) 347-7151 ext. 132 or (217) 899-4338.

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Reporter for the Effingham Daily News, covering city government, local business and state representatives.