Park Ridge City Council approves 2 percent property-tax increase
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:09AM
PARK RIDGE — During a Dec. 3 City Council meeting Park Ridge aldermen:
• approved the first reading of a $20.95 million levy for the 2012 tax year. The levy reflects a 2.15-percent hike, or $364,829 more, in property taxes over last year. While officials had shaved down the levy by approximately $887,000 since early November, 6th Ward Alderman Marc Mazzuca proposed lowering the request even further by adjusting fire and police pension figures. Realigning the assumed rate of return the public pensions earn on investments with a rate recently endorsed by the Illinois Department of Insurance would save an additional $226,000, resulting in a .76-percent bump in taxes, Mazzuca said.
First Ward Alderman Joseph Sweeney contended a larger return wasn’t feasible given the amounts earned in recent years, adding the city has been and should remain diligent in meeting its pension obligations. Second Ward Alderman Rich DiPietro and 5th Ward Alderman Dan Knight suggested that police and fire pension fund trustees weigh in before altering the rate.
• approved the first reading of a five-year, $174,000 agreement with Wide Open West for fiber computer network services by a 6-1 vote, with Mazzuca opposing the contract’s length and early-termination fees.
• approved an ordinance amending Article 12, Businesses and Occupations, of the Municipal Code that increases license and registration fees and fines for penalties. Officials also voted in favor of removing a section of the ordinance regarding media licensing and fees to continue discussions at the Dec. 10 Committee of the Whole. Fourth Ward Alderman Sal Raspanti and 7th Ward Alderman Marty Maloney voted against both motions.
• gave final support to add medical/dental clinics as special uses within the Uptown Business District’s Uptown Core Sub-District, and grant special-use permits for offices at 28 Main St. The Zoning Ordinance change allows a local dentist to pursue a clinic on the property formerly owed by a restaurant and left vacant for the past three years.
• heard an update from City Manager Shawn Hamilton that appraisal services have been secured for 463 Summit Ave. Former city manager Jim Hock, who was terminated from his post in May, purchased the townhouse with a $350,000, interest-free loan from the city. The outstanding balance owed to the city is $288,000. An appraisal report is expected by Dec. 16.