Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

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The Joliet City Council will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to review the 2022 city budget and the 226-page document calls for spending $1 million to renovate and reconfigure the south wing of Joliet’s City Hall.

The $1 million capital expense proposed for City Hall remodeling is being brought forward by City Manager Jim Capparelli, who is finishing his first year on the job as Joliet’s first permanent city manager since David Hales was ousted from the post in November 2018.

The $1 million capital improvement expense is listed under the category of Building and Grounds.

Joliet Patch has reached out to Capparelli for comment on the recommended $1 million expense for remodeling City Hall.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk told Patch on Friday that he does not support the idea of spending $1 million to renovate City Hall at this time, and the mayor was not sure whether the rest of the City Council would support that, either.

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“I don’t support it all,” O’Dekirk repeated. “I don’t think that’s a good use of money.”

Also, Joliet Patch reported Friday that the Joliet City Council has been asked to spend a total of $150,000 over the next three years so Capparelli can move the city’s public utilities engineering staff out of City Hall and into John Bays’ Two Rialto Square Building in the 100 block of North Chicago Street.

A three-person Council committee will review the proposed lease agreement with John Bays at Monday’s meeting.

Among other notables, the 2022 city of Joliet proposed budget calls for spending $1,135,595 to equip the Joliet Police Department officers with body-worn cameras. The Joliet Police Department remains one of the largest police departments in the Midwest that does not equip its officers with body cameras.

The 2022 recommended city spending plan from Capparelli also seeks:

$7 million for annual street repairs across Joliet; city staff wanted $12 million.
$700,000 to purchase two new ambulances for the Joliet Fire Department.
$200,000 to replace the roof over the concourse at DuPage Medical Group Field, home for Joliet Slammers baseball.
$2.3 million for new vehicles across the entire city of Joliet.
Under Economic Development, a category called “Subsidy” recommends $116,427 for the Title XX Program, $15,000 for Pace bus Route 511, $200,000 for the Joliet Area Historical Museum, $36,800 for the Joliet Chamber of Commerce, $50,000 to the Will County Center for Economic Development, $500,000 to pay off the new Will County Courthouse building and $375,000 for the Rialto Square Theatre.

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