CALUMET CITY | Third Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones got his City Council colleagues to add some money to the proposed budget for an issue in which he has taken interest in recent weeks – speed bumps on residential streets.
The council, which met Thursday as a Finance Committee to review the appropriations ordinance that dictates municipal spending for the current fiscal year, decided to add $25,000 to funding for the Street and Alley Department so that the city can purchase what Jones referred to as “traffic safety bumps.”
Those bumps would be kept in storage during the winter months, then installed temporarily on residential streets where there is potential for speeding motorists to cause hazardous conditions for nearby residents.
Jones said he’d like to see the city purchase 16 temporary bumps, which he said would allow for them to be used in all seven wards of the city at the discretion of each alderman.
Initially, Jones tried getting money added for the speed bumps to certain line items intended to pay for street maintenance or other items.
But 4th Ward Alderman Brian Wilson suggested that a new line item be created in the department’s budget so that it would be clear the money was meant for speed bump purchases.
The Finance Committee went along with that request.
Jones’ interest in speed bumps came before the City Council last week when he requested that two be installed in front of a house at 2275 Harding Ave., to help encourage motorists to quit speeding through the residential neighborhood. Jones said there have been many instances of cars nearly crashing into area houses.
The increase in funds is among the few budget boosts that have been publicly approved by council members. They have spent several nights this week reviewing their proposed budget on an agency-by-agency basis.
Aldermen made it clear they plan to do additional review of agency funding, and likely could meet again before the anticipated final approval of an appropriations ordinance Thursday.
In other portions of the proposed budget, the Police Department is set to get $9.2 million, including an extra $20,000 more than the $100,000 originally anticipated to adapt newly purchased automobiles so they can serve as squad cars.
The city’s Fire and Police Commission will receive $97,770, including $26,000 for meetings regarding job candidates and $5,100 for the three commissioners to attend two conferences.
The Finance Committee also reviewed the $2.48 million budget for the public library system, which city Finance Director John Kasperek said was identical in amount to last year’s budget.