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Retiring city clerk to work with Morris as consultant

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

MORRIS – Although Morris City Clerk John Enger officially retires next week, he won’t be going far.

The Finance and Administration Committee met Monday and approved an independent contractor agreement with Enger to be a financial consultant with the city for one year. Enger served as the clerk and was the city’s first budget officer.

“No one knows the city budget better than John Enger,” said Alderman Bill Martin Tuesday, chairman of the finance committee. “He is coming on as a consultant to help in the process of turning it over to the new city clerk.”

The new clerk will be appointed at the next regular council meeting Monday. At this time, Enger’s new contract will be voted on by the full council, as well.

Enger will receive $1,800 a month for his consultant work for the city, Mayor Richard Kopczick said Tuesday.

Kopczick said the city’s budget should not have to be amended to accommodate this expense. The expense will fall under the city’s “other professional services” budget line item for the remaining three months in this fiscal year.

For professional services last year, the city spent about $22,000. The year before that it was about $11,000.

Enger has served the city for 37 years in multiple roles. He is retiring from his positions because of health issues.

In other business, the committee also approved a positive recommendation to the council paying Morris’ three public school districts more than $1.7 million from Tax Increment Financing District funds.

A TIF district freezes the assessed value of properties in the district. Any tax money from increases in value of those properties then goes into a special fund to be used to improve properties in the district.

With frozen property values, the schools receive less than if property values were up to date, but they receive more state aide this way.

The city and the schools have an agreement giving the schools up to 50 percent of the TIF funds to make up for dollars lost from frozen property values. If it takes less than 50 percent to make up the schools’ loss, the remaining amount is declared surplus and divided among all of the city’s taxing bodies.

This year’s surplus monies of about $436,000 will be paid to the Grundy County Treasurer’s Office, which will distribute the dollars all the city’s taxing bodies.

The TIF payment to the schools and the surplus will go before the council Monday.

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