DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) — Dubuque is working to bring back daily flights and build its commercial airline service with the help of a $1.5M grant from the federal government. This comes after the ultra cheap airline, named Avelo, has expanded their service to a direct line to Las Vegas and another one to Orlando.
Currently, Avelo Airlines is the only public airline operating at the Dubuque Regional Airport. However, city leaders have said that has never been their end goal. Now with this new funding, they hope to move forward with getting a major commercial airline service back to Dubuque.
Over a year ago, American Airlines left the Dubuque Airport for the final time, ending the daily flight service they ran between Dubuque and Chicago.
Molly Grover, President of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, has been one of the heads of the coalition to improve airline services to Dubuque. Grover says while they’re happy to bring Avelo to the airport, for longevity’s sake they need variety.
Grover told KWWL, “That diverse portfolio includes the leisure service, with Avelo, and also having the daily commercial air service to a major hub, which really satisfies the business community and their needs to move human talent back and forth in and out of the community.”
Grover says that the $1.5M grant will be combined with the $535,000 that the coalition already garnered through private and public investments. She says they’ll use that money to attract one of the major airlines through a minimum revenue guarantee, similar to the one made with Avelo.
Grover says it will be easier to attract a major airline service to the area if more people fly in and out of Dubuque.
DANVILLE — Milbra Judd loved Danville and collecting anything she could find related to her beloved city.
For other collectors, an estate sale will be this weekend with items that were part of Judd’s antique collection, which includes a lot of historical Danville memorabilia.
There are hundreds of old Danville postcards; photos; books about past Danville businesses like Webster Grocery and the Danville Brick Company; city directories from the 1930s, 1940s and other years; Danville High School yearbooks such as from 1913 to 1919; items advertising businesses; an autographed picture of Uncle Joe Cannon; a lava cameo from Cannon’s wife (Milbra knew the Cannons); and lot of other unique items in addition to some furniture, dishes and glassware. There’s a 1947 telephone directory; a postcard showing a racetrack at Ellsworth Park in 1908; unused coupon books from the Beard Ice Company; Danville souvenir cups; a book with Danville photographers’ photos; paper fans including one from Westville; photos of “Aunt Jemima” when she came to Danville for a pancake event; and a breeder’s horse sale catalog from the Community Barn on East Fairchild Street in 1938 in Danville.
There was a lot going on in Danville through the decades, said Milbra’s daughter, Marilee Judd.
The sale will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 at Judd’s Auction Gallery, 812 N. Vermilion St., Danville.
“Our mom was a huge Danville fan,” Marilee said.
From the politics to the people, Milbra loved everything about Danville.
Milbra passed away in December 2020 and Marilee has continued to have monthly online auctions through the family business.
Milbra was born in a log cabin on land that is now part of Kickapoo State Park. She owned Three Dimensions clothing store. For more than 20 years, she also was a merchant at the Third Sunday Market in Bloomington, selling antiques and jewelry. She loved collecting Danville’s history.
Milbra’s husband Henry Judd Sr. owned Hank’s Transmissions. They have four children.
When Milbra closed her clothing store, she also got into the auction business.
“But she was a huge Danville fanatic. I mean she loved and breathed everything Danville,” Marilee said. “I don’t even know where she came up with some of this stuff.”
Henry said he didn’t know either.
Milbra’s daughter Toni Judd said her mom would keep all these items like they were her treasure. The items were in pile after pile.
“It was precious to her,” Toni said. “She felt it was this major gift, really, about Danville. She felt so compelled to keep everything Danville when she started the auction house too.”
Milbra was already a huge Danville collector by that time.
“It was a big part of her,” Marilee added.
Every now and again Milbra would sell some Danville items, but she wanted to hold onto almost everything she had.
Some of the items say “Destination Danville” or “Souvenir of Danville.”
Marliee said this collection isn’t for auction because it’s so local. People who normally buy from Marilee are from all over the world.
Local residents Cindy Nygren and Scott Mathis are handling the estate sale.
“We’ll see how much sells,” Henry said.
There’s some items the family isn’t selling, such as items Milbra acquired from Bobby Short’s estate. One is a folk art picture of two African American couples seated around a dinner table and a series of antique postcards depicting the “cakewalk” dance that Short had displayed in an ornate Art Deco frame. Milbra acquired those items, along with some other Bobby Short belongings, through a New York City auction house after he died in March 2005.
Marilee also has an autographed book to Milbra from Short and a picture of Milbra and Short.
Some other items Marilee is keeping include an O’Neil Brothers Zippo lighter, and a 1920s picture book from Trent Lumber Co. of Danville with etched and cut-out overlays proposing additions and changes, such as a porch, to Danville homes. The book was $1.
“I love this,” Marilee said of the overlay book. “I think this is cool. You just don’t see that.”
An old Danville map will be donated to the Vermilion County Museum.
“It was a lot different town than it is now,” Marilee said.
So many buildings also have been torn down.
“She loved her Danville,” Marilee added. “It’s surprising how many people do collect Danville history.”
Marilee knows several people who also have extensive and big collections.
“There’s a lot of history here,” Marilee said.
Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC reports the following transaction:
Restaurant Technologies Inc. leased 25,267 square feet at 6601 S. Laburnum Ave. in Henrico.
Porter Realty Co. Inc. reports the following transaction:
Lion Home Services LLC leased 1,500 square feet of warehouse space at 10097 Patterson Park Road in Hanover.
Commonwealth Commercial Partners LLC reports the following transactions:
B&T Rentals LLC and Whitesel Road 10011 Associates LLC purchased 15,360 square feet at 10011 Whitesel Road in Hanover from Whitesel Road LLC for $2,050,000. Ben Bruni and Colton Konvicka represented the purchaser.
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DeKo LLC purchased 3,788 square feet at 1531 Elm St. in Hopewell from Delta Citation LLC for $370,000. Ben Bruni and Michael Mayhew represented the seller, and Colton Konvicka and Collins Burlee represented the purchaser.
Joyner Commercial Real Estate reports the following transaction:
Impact Investment Group LLC purchased 7,952 square feet of office space at 7023 Lee Park Road for $1,065,000 in Hanover. Bernard Heyward represented the buyer.
Porter Realty Co. Inc. reports the following transactions:
Ginter Associates LLC sold 3112 Northside Ave., 15,326 square feet in Henrico, for $975,000. Cliff Porter represented the seller.
The J.M. Fry Co. sold 812 Hull St. and adjacent parcels, .858 acres, in Richmond to The Lawson Companies Inc. for $2,400,000. Cliff Porter represented the seller.
Impact Investment Group LLC sold 7,952 square feet at 7023 Lee Park Road in Hanover for $1,065,000. Kevin Cox represented the seller.
15 September 2023
Introduced to Parliament in May, the Renters (Reform) Bill seeks to improve the private rental sector for both tenants and landlords. The bill will legislate for reforms set out in the private rented sector white paper published in 2022, which focuses on abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds.
The need for reform
The private rental sector has undergone substantial growth, doubling since 2004. Comprised of 11 million renters, the sector provides essential flexibility and a steppingstone towards homeownership for many.
However, not all renters enjoy the same level of security and well-being within this sector. The practice of ‘no fault’ evictions under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 has left some tenants vulnerable to short-notice displacements, leading to adverse effects on educational outcomes for children, job stability, and community engagement.
Responsible landlords face their own challenges, such as dealing with non-paying tenants, those displaying anti-social behaviour and being undercut by criminal landlords. The Renters (Reform) Bill aims to celebrate good landlords and ensure they have the means to regain possession of their properties when necessary.
Overview of reforms
The Renters (Reform) Bill introduces a range of reforms that have been developed in consultation with landlord and tenant groups over the past five years. The reforms are as follows:
Abolish section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions: eliminating the uncertainty of ‘no fault’ evictions, providing more security for tenants, and empowering them to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of eviction.
Simplify possession grounds: allowing landlords to recover their property, including where they wish to sell their property, move in family, or evict tenants who are at fault.
Protection against excessive rent increases: ensuring tenants are able to appeal excessively above-market rents which are designed to force them out, known as backdoor evictions.
Private Rented Sector Ombudsman: a dedicated ombudsman will provide fair impartial and binding resolution to issues, in a quicker process than the court system.
Privately Rented Property Portal: an online portal to help landlords understand their legal obligations and demonstrate compliance, while also supporting tenants to make better informed decisions when renting.
Right to request a pet: landlords must consider the request and cannot unreasonably refuse; landlords will be able to require pet insurance to cover any damage to the property.
Other changes to the sector
The Government is also committed to other reforms that were contained in the white paper but have not been included in the Renters (Reform) Bill. This includes a Decent Homes Standard, like that already in place for the social rented sector, that seeks to improve the quality of homes, as well as outlawing landlords and agents from having a blanket ban on renting to tenants in receipt of benefits or with children.
When can we expect to see the reforms introduced?
The bill is currently at the second reading stage, which will provide MPs with an opportunity to debate on the bill’s main principles. However, with no indication of when the second reading will take place, the legislation – which was first proposed in the Conservative’s 2019 General Election manifesto – has been estimated to take up to 18 months to pass through Parliament.
Once the Renters (Reform) Bill has become law, the reforms will be introduced in two stages to ensure there is a sufficient notice period to implement necessary changes. After at least 6 months all new tenancies will be governed by the new rules and then after at least 12 months existing tenancies will also need to adhere to the reforms.
Reception by the sector
Despite the bill providing much needed support for renters, there is fear that a lack of clarity on how the reforms will work could drive landlords away from the sector. This comes after increasing repair, maintenance and mortgage costs are already bringing the viability of the sector into question for many landlords. Given the current housing shortage, it is important that any reforms adequately protect tenants but do not come at an unfair expense to landlords, as to avoid compounding the crisis.
To find out how Sava is helping to make buildings better through education, technology and professional services, head to our website at www.sava.co.uk
Citing the U.S. Commerce Department’s “lackluster oversight” of the country’s international firearms trade, several congressional Democrats are calling on Secretary Gina Raimondo to tighten controls on the commercial export of U.S.-made guns and to release long-delayed trade data detailing those shipments.
A 2020 rule change transferred oversight of export licenses for many types of firearms from the State Department to Commerce — a switch that gun industry lobbyists correctly predicted would boost overseas sales. In the first 16 months after the change, global export-license approvals rose 30 percent over historical averages, according to congressional estimates. The Democratic lawmakers noted that President Biden vowed during his presidential campaign to reverse the Trump-era rule. But he has not.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and others in Congress wrote to Raimondo last September asking for updated export figures to gauge the impact of the switch in oversight. They expressed concerns that Commerce was effectively “padding the gun industry’s profits while putting deadly weapons in the hands of corrupt actors around the world.” Raimondo’s office never responded to that query, according to Warren, and Commerce has stopped releasing new firearms export data.
Since then, U.S.-made guns continue to “find their way into the hands of terrorists and human rights abusers to be used in brutal killings across the globe,” stated the letter, which Warren and three House Democrats sent to Raimondo on Wednesday evening. “Yet your Department has not published updated annual data – which will soon be a full year late — or responded to a congressional inquiry.” That failure could be “masking a record that may have gotten even worse,’’ they wrote.
A spokesperson for the Commerce Department said, “We are aware of the letter and will respond through the appropriate channels.”
Warren referenced reporting from a Bloomberg News series chronicling how surging U.S. firearms exports are fueling crime around the world. The series also showed how the Commerce Department has promoted those sales by, for example, linking foreign buyers with manufacturers at the gun industry’s premier exhibition in Las Vegas each year.
As Bloomberg reported in July, no company has profited more from the American export push than Sig Sauer Inc., the U.S.-based spinoff of the European gunmaker. After lobbying for Commerce to assume oversight of exports, Sig in 2020 signed a deal with Thailand’s government to export 250,000 semiautomatic pistols. Those guns, which were initially offered to former police and military officers, have fueled a thriving black-market trade. One of those Sig pistols was eventually used in the deadliest single mass killing in Thailand’s history, the October 2022 massacre of 36 people that targeted a children’s nursery school.
Warren’s letter cited that story, saying Sig “has clearly benefited” from the rule change. She also noted “steady streams” of U.S.-made assault weapons” going to Guatemala, where Bloomberg documented increases in U.S. shipments of rapid-fire weapons to commercial gun dealers, despite the country’s struggles with crime and corruption. Bloomberg also found that gun crimes spiked dramatically in Canada following a surge in imports of U.S.-made semiautomatic pistols and rifles.
Warren’s letter was co-signed by three fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives: Joaquin Castro of Texas, Norma Torres of California and Dan Goldman of New York. They noted that Biden and Raimondo support a reinstatement of an assault weapons ban in the U.S., a proposal that faces opposition in the Republican-led House. “But the administration already has the authority it needs to crack down on the proliferation of these weapons abroad,” the letter stated.
“The Department of Commerce has a simple mission — to promote jobs and grow our economy — but its continued approval of assault weapons exports is leading to civilian deaths abroad,” Torres said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We’re calling on Commerce to provide swift answers regarding these dangerous exports.”
© 2023 Bloomberg L.P. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
MATTOON — Plans for a 160-acre subdivision that will include a youth sports complex and a commercial area are continuing to move forward.
Developers of the planned Emerald Acres Sports Connection have now won city approval for the final plat for the entire subdivision and for the special use permit for creating outdoor sports fields on 86-acres of this property.
The Mattoon City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday evening to approve these plat and permit requests from AJMA Holdings, Speer RE Holdings, and Mattoon Sports Complex Inc.
“This is a big economic project for the city of Mattoon, one of the biggest we have ever done,” said Mayor Rick Hall during the council meeting. He added that the completed sports complex is projected to draw 500,000 visitors per year to Mattoon and businesses here.
Emerald Acres is set to be built on 110 acres donated by Rural King of Mattoon, which plans to open its more than 40 adjacent acres to related development. This area is off of the southwest corner of Interstate 57 and Illinois Route 16/Charleston Avenue.
The plat envisions a 16-lot, 160-acre subdivision on vacant former farmland accessed by Remington Road extending east, Swords Drive south, Fort Worth Way east and south, and new Wooddell Drive east from Dettro Drive.
“We have to have this subdivision in place before we can officially adopt the tax increment financing (district),” said City Administrator Kyle Gill of one of the funding mechanisms for the Emerald Acres project.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the council held a public hearing about the proposed TIF district centered on a Remington Road Redevelopment Project Area.
Property tax revenue generated by new development within the TIF district will be directed toward improvements there, such as reimbursing for the $2.5 million projected costs for city streets, sidewalks, utilities, and storm water control measures there.
The Remington Road TIF district proposal will now be presented to the council for a vote as the city prepares to seek state approval for this district.
Emerald Acres’ fieldhouse is set to open in 2024 with eight basketball and 16 volleyball courts. The outdoor site is set to open in 2025 with eight baseball/softball fields and 12 multipurpose fields. Earthwork is underway at the fieldhouse site.
In other matters, the council held a public hearing Tuesday evening on a planned Lake Paradise pathways revitalization project.
Community Development and Planning Manager Alex Benishek said the city has received a commitment for a team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps workers to build 5 miles of trails along Lake Paradise between Sept. 15 and Nov. 7.
Benishek said this free work, valued at $70,000, will be done on city-owned woodland at least 200 feet from adjacent private properties while the workers stay at Camp New Hope at Lake Mattoon. He said the city will then follow a long range maintenance plan for the trails.
“It’s really the first step in reinvesting in Lake Paradise and Lake Mattoon,” Benishek said. He said the city intends to create a new watershed management plan for the two lakes and eventually connect them to the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail in Mattoon.
Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861.
With more than 30 buildings, 7,200 students and 1,100 faculty and staff, University of Wisconsin-Stout’s campus infrastructure is comparable to a small city.
Inside and around the 2.6 million square feet of building space are millions of pieces equipment, supplies, furniture, vehicles and much more. When those objects reach the end of one useful life but could have another, they end up at Surplus Property in the University Services building at 817 S. Broadway St.
The goal of Surplus is to keep the objects out of area landfills to improve university sustainability and profitability, and it contributes by the ton. For fiscal year 2022-23 that ended in June, 30,000 items equaling more than 209,000 pounds — almost 105 tons — of materials were purchased by the public at bi-monthly Surplus sales, returning more than $200,000 to UW-Stout.
Also, another 15,000 items were claimed by other campus departments, saving the university more than $120,000 if those items had been purchased new.
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“Surplus helps Stout reuse, repurpose and recycle no longer needed campus items that are not your ‘normal’ recyclable bin items,” said Kadi Wright, UW-Stout sustainability manager. “Surplus helps Stout greatly in our landfill diversion.”
House on the move
One unusual item that recently became surplus was a university house. Located at 215 12th Ave. S., the two-story, 1,540-square-foot structure built in 1910 needed to be removed to create additional student parking. UW-Stout sold the house online for $325. The buyer arranged to have it moved on Aug. 14 about 10 blocks south.
The sale saved the university up to $60,000 in demolition costs and diverted 94,000 pounds of rubble from the landfill. The structure — dubbed Pacifica House — had been used by graduate school students, according to University Housing director Adam Ludwig.
The house is one example of how Surplus Property strives to create a zero waste operation through four key efforts:
- Wednesdays twice a month, faculty and staff can claim items for their offices or departments that their colleagues no longer need.
- Thursdays twice a month, following the Wednesday campus offerings, public sales are held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with buyers often waiting in line for the doors to open.
- Many UW-Stout Surplus items also are available at the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction, along with items from other state universities, technical colleges, agencies, counties and municipalities. State law regulates how most state-owned property must be disposed.
- Items that repeatedly fail to sell are advertised as free to area nonprofit organizations.
The next public sales are Thursdays Sept. 7 and Sept. 21. Contact Surplus at 715-232-2262 or email email@example.com, including to be added to an email list about upcoming sales.
A campus thrift sale
At a recent public sale, customers were hauling out large items and placing them in pickup trucks at a loading dock or loading them into their cars. Sale items included metal filing cabinets, office and lounge chairs, computers, monitors and cables, board games, sports equipment, books, shelving, camera tripods and much more — all at thrift-sale prices.
The Surplus Property team includes Carley Scrivener, Purchasing and Materials Management director; Steve Soden, assistant director; Justin Kempen, inventory control; and Luke Rose, inventory control. The staff helps pick up and deliver items across campus.
“It’s a fun job. We have no idea what’s going to come in from day to day, and we find a market for it,” Soden said, noting that Surplus, along with the University Library, also donates books that don’t sell to the St. Paul-based national Books for Africa nonprofit group.
Laptop computers — including those that students receive as part of their tuition and sometimes are returned — with the latest Windows software are at the public sales. Some computers are sold at the online auction and shipped across the country, Soden said.
Surplus Property also is popular with students looking to pick up personal items, to help complete their residence hall room or furnish their off-campus residence.
When needed, e-scrap such as computer hard drives, printers and TVs are recycled along with scrap metal. “We even break down three-ring binders and other things that don’t sell to remove the metal and recycle it rather than having it go in a landfill,” Scrivener said.
A motorcycle and a piece of heavy equipment
Most items sold to the public are common, including used exercise equipment, but occasionally unusual items come up for sale. One of those was a rare, 1983 Honda CX6Cx 650 turbo motorcycle. It had been donated to the university, disassemble and was used in a student lab.
Recently, a piece of heavy equipment, a front-end loader, was sold online for $11,400. The loader had been used to scoop coal into the steam furnace, but the university switched from coal to natural gas in March 2020 and the machine no longer was needed.
“The ongoing efforts and self-education by the Surplus staff to find new uses, markets and end-of-life responsible recycling for a wide variety of items adds to our overall sustainability goals,” said Darrin Witucki, director of University Centers, including the Memorial Student Center.
01 September 2023
As estate agents, it is important to make sure that your business is efficient and cost-effective. One of the ways to do this is to outsource your calls. Outsourcing your calls can provide many benefits to your business such as improved customer service, access to specialised services and cost savings. In this blog post, we will discuss why it makes sense for estate agents to outsource their calls and the benefits they can enjoy.
The benefits of call answering services
The benefits of an estate agent using call answering services are almost limitless. Firstly, there is the cost savings that come with outsourcing, as it is typically much more affordable than hiring and managing a team of receptionists. Furthermore, when you outsource your calls, you will be able to make use of a dedicated team that specialises in customer service and telephone techniques. This means that customers will always receive professional and polite service, regardless of how busy the day is. Additionally, as an estate agent, outsourcing your calls will allow you to create more time in your day by taking care of customer service enquiries while you focus on other aspects of the business.
How it helps to increase sales
Call Answering can increase your sales potential, as it provides an extra layer of customer service. With someone taking all incoming calls, estate agents are free to focus on what they do best – selling. When customers call with questions about a property, the call answering service can answer their queries and help the customer decide if the property is a good fit. Additionally, the customer service staff on the other end of the line has experience in dealing with buyers and sellers and knows how to guide customers in the right direction. By providing this level of customer service, estate agents can ensure that more of their leads result in conversions.
How it helps to build customer relationships
When it comes to customer relationships, there are many benefits to estate agents outsourcing their calls. Firstly, outsourced call services provide greater efficiency and accuracy when dealing with client inquiries and requests. Instead of estate agents having to answer a large number of phone calls themselves, calls can be routed directly to a dedicated team of experts. This ensures that customers are dealt with swiftly and any queries are answered in a timely and efficient manner.
How it helps to save time
It will save you time by enabling your team to focus on their core duties. An experienced call answering service can offer estate agents valuable insights into customer needs and queries, meaning that they can provide more efficient and targeted customer service. An outsourced call answering service can also help with customer acquisition and retention, meaning that estate agents can benefit from more business. Additionally, outsourcing calls can free up resources and personnel costs. If a professional answering service is used, they can handle both inbound and outbound calls as needed. This means that your team doesn’t need to be on-call 24/7, giving them more freedom to focus on other areas of the business. Furthermore, it allows for improved customer satisfaction through quick response times, leading to increased customer loyalty. In conclusion, estate agents can benefit from using an outsourced call answering service by saving money, increasing customer satisfaction, and freeing up their own resources.
How it helps to save money
Finally, let’s talk about the bottom line – estate agents who outsource their calls save money. For example, businesses that use an answering service can save up to 40% in operating costs in comparison to using a traditional in-house customer service team. This is because outsourcing reduces overhead costs such as salaries and benefits and eliminates the need to purchase equipment and office space. In addition, it allows estate agents to benefit from economies of scale since they only pay for services when they’re needed. Plus, by taking advantage of 24/7 customer service solutions, estate agents can ensure that no lead goes unanswered regardless of when or where it was generated. This can result in more sales and higher customer satisfaction scores.
DANVILLE — As Danville City Council aldermen continued discussions this week about a possible change in city hall hours, Comptroller Ashlyn Massey provided aldermen with information to questions that have been asked about utility payments to city hall.
For June (billed in July), the city billed 11,596 accounts. Of those, 1,536 (13%) are on city automated clearing house draft auto-pay from people’s financial accounts. A citizen also can set up auto-pay or perform one-time payments through the city’s utility billing portal. This represents 34% of all payments.
Mail payments and in-person counter payments are 37% and 16% respectively. In the 30 days prior to the date this data was collected, the city received 6,204 payments. One payment can apply to multiple accounts.
The finance department also processed more than 200 receipts outside of utility billing totaling $331,373 for July. In finance (not clerk’s office or legal division), it processed 1,243 in-person payments in July. There were 20 open business days in July. This breaks down to an average of 62 payments per day in-person. This is on top of the 2,295 mail payments they processed as well.
For in-person counter payments, evaluated from Monday, May 1 through Friday, Aug. 4, Mondays are the highest volume of payment days. In the data set, there were two due dates on Mondays but also a holiday where the city was closed.
In-person payments: Mondays: 709; Tuesdays: 456; Wednesdays: 526; Thursdays: 591; and Fridays: 618.
Massey also addressed questions about the drop box outside of the city hall doors on Main Street. The city doesn’t advertise that as a possible way to pay bills. Massey said there are several reasons why, including that the drop box is located in another division/elected official’s office.
“While the relationship with the treasurer’s office is currently very positive, it has not always been and may not always be. Due to past experience, I do not like my team to enter other divisions’ spaces unless it is absolutely necessary or they are specifically invited,” according to Massey.
She also states the drop box is not dependable. The drop box was the original night deposit box when the city building was a bank. It is very old and has many problems, she said. Sometimes, weather conditions cause rain and debris to get into the safe, which can damage or ruin payments and/or payment stubs. Sometimes, payments get stuck on the ledge between the opening and the interior of the safe. Also, the lock is not usable and therefore is not locked, according to Massey.
Massey continued stating the payments the city receives through the drop box are often incorrect. Part of their procedure when city employees accept payments at the counter includes reviewing the check to ensure it has a signature, the written amount matches the number amount, the check has an account number on the memo line, etc. Payments that come through the drop box have a much higher chance of being inaccurate and unusable, Massey said. They also sometimes are coupled with hateful messages, she stated.
“When someone is not forced to give something face to face, it is amazing what they will write down,” she says.
If a check is incorrect, the city has to track down the check owner and get a corrected check.
If a citizen calls and asks about the city’s hours and when they can come pay, if the city’s current hours and other payment options do not work for them, they will mention the drop box.
In other business this week, the Danville City Council’s Public Services Committee recommended approving: purchasing two replacement one-ton dump bed trucks for the sewer division at a cost not to exceed $187,000 through a governmental cooperative purchasing contract; and authorizing backup system upgrade for the information technology division at a cost of $43,600 for year 1, and $40,103 for years 2 and 3. The full city council will act on the purchases at its 6 p.m. Sept. 5 meeting.