BATAVIA – With a signed game ball next to him during the Batavia City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Jeff Schielke again congratulated the Batavia Bulldogs football team for winning the Class 6A state championship in DeKalb on Saturday.
He detailed the team’s return to Batavia Saturday night, recalling how emergency personnel escorted the buses through town and that crowds of people stood alongside the route – even those who had no connection to the team.
“The emotions were flowing so strongly,” Schielke said. “It spoke to the heart of what this town is all about.”
The signed game ball, which the Bulldogs gave Schielke during the Celebration of Lights Festival on Sunday, will be donated to the Depot Museum, the mayor said.
“This really belongs to the people of Batavia,” he said.
He suspects the city might gain some residents because of the state title, he said. After the team came in second in 2006, he said, a number of people stopped by City Hall expressing interest in moving to Batavia because of the successful football season.
“Now [that] we have won … it wouldn’t surprise me that this has some impact on the housing market of Batavia,” Schielke said.
In other news, the City Council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on accepting applications for certain nonretail uses in commercial districts such as Randall and Kirk roads. Those uses would include banks and health care facilities.
Also unanimously, the City Council approved the 2014 budget, which anticipates $95.4 million in expenses and $92.1 million in revenue.
With the exception of a loan that wasn’t included in last year’s levy, City Administrator Bill McGrath said the 2014 levy is equal to 2013’s levy.
“In terms of the number of dollars sought,” he said, “[it is] basically the same as it was last year.”
Addressing public comments that were concerned about the tax rate, McGrath explained the city has no control over the tax rate.
“The tax rate is totally dependent on the [equalized assessed value] of the community,” he said.
For example, he said, if the same amount is levied but the EAV has increased, the tax rate will go down. If the EAV decreases, he said, the tax rate will go up.
He encouraged anyone with questions to call him or Finance Director Peggy Colby.