The Joliet City Council passed a $329 million budget on Thursday night. The budget vote was the second vote on the city’s 2020 budget. A vote on the budget had failed to pass earlier in the month. The passing of the budget also saw an increase in several taxes and fees across the city. The Gas tax in Joliet was raised from .01 cents a gallon to .04 cents while the hotel/motel tax saw an increase as well. That tax was also raised from 7 percent to 10 percent. The increase in the gas tax Will be used to cover the cost for replacing city vehicles in the future. The increase in the hotel/motel tax will be used for cultural and tourism purposes. The budget was passed by a 5-3 vote with Councilpeople Don Dickson, Bettye Gavin, Pat Mudron, Sherri Reardon and Mike Turk voting for the budget. Larry Hug, Terry Morris and Jan Quillman voted against the budget. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk Did not vote but expressed his frustration over the lack of compromise over the budget conversations and even accused the five yes votes of the ramming the budget through approval without properly assessing other opinions on the council.
The city Council also approved the Joliet public library’s plans to redesign and modernize its Ottawa Street branch. The cost of the project is estimated to be $10.5 million of which the city of Joliet will put up $6.5 million. The library has been able to save up to $4 million over several years.