Conrad council approves budget, substantial completion of fire station

A side view of the Conrad Fire Station, which was declared substantially completed at the city council meeting last Thursday night. (Rob Maharry/The Grundy Register photo)


The Conrad city council unanimously approved its fiscal year 2018 budget and a resolution certifying substantial completion of the new fire station during its regular meeting last Thursday night.


The most notable change in the budget is that property taxes will increase by $2.67 per $1,000 of valuation (to $13.94 per $1,000) as a result of both the Smith Development and the decrease in overall valuations in Conrad. Dean Ladehoff of the Conrad Fire Department, who spoke during the public hearing, pointed out that the city would now have the highest levy rate of any community in Grundy County. Mayor Jeff Martin added, however, that the rate would stabilize after fy2019, when the city can begin to utilize Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to pay for the fire station project.


“At this point, this is all we can do,” Martin said. “We’re in a good place financially. We’ve got a great project; we just have to pay for it first.”


Ladehoff went on to say that the department had been told in the past that a new fire station would not raise property taxes, and he did not want to see a backlash as a result.


“I’ve been for the fire station, but I haven’t been for the cost. I’m still not for the cost,” he said of the project, which cost almost $1,000,000. “What I don’t want the community to do is say ‘those firemen raised our taxes,’ and that bothers me.”


Read the full story in this week's Grundy Register.