November 2020
Thanksgiving Cooking Fire Safety Tips
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the DeKalb Fire Department would like to share the top 10 safety tips while cooking your Thanksgiving Dinner!

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on your food.
  2. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check it frequently.
  3. Keep children away from the stove. They should always be at least 3 feet away.
  4. Keep children away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  5. Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  6. Make sure that all electronic cords from cooking utensils are out of the reach of children.
  7. Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.
  8. Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
  9. Keep the floor clear so you don't trip over children, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
  10. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
In This Issue
Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

Transition to Transdev Services Inc.

Unemployment and Counterfeit Check Scam

General Property Maintenance

Community Development Block Grant

Notice of Utility Billing Changes

Bicycle Friendly America Public Survey

Loose-Leaf Collection
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Transition to Transdev Services Inc.
Beginning January 1,2021, the City of DeKalb, the City of Sycamore, and the Town of Cortland paratransit and deviated flex route services will be operated and managed by Transdev Services Inc. Until that time, the Voluntary Action Center of Northern Illinois will continue to operate and provide all paratransit and deviated flex route services within the DeKalb Urbanized Area including door-to-door, on demand, non-emergency medical transportation, and the Route 21.

Transdev Services Inc. currently provides the Huskie Line fixed route public transportation service and has been involved with DeKalb public transportation since the inception of the Huskie Line in 1971. Transdev operates a variety of fixed route and paratransit service contracts across the country and will utilize their experience and resources to maximize the passenger experience for all City of DeKalb Public Transit users.

To ensure a smooth transition of services between providers, representatives from the City of DeKalb, Voluntary Action Center of Northern Illinois, and Transdev Services Inc. are holding weekly meetings to discuss all operational and administrative aspects of the service and to prepare for the transition at the beginning of the year.

If you have questions about the transition of paratransit and deviated flex route services, we welcome you to contact one of our representatives for additional information.

  • City of DeKalb, Transit Manager Marcus Cox: 815-748-2370
  • Voluntary Action Center, Chief Operating Officer Mike Neuenkirchen: 815-758-3932
  • Transdev Services Inc., General Manager Melissa Ohrwall: 815-758-6900
Unemployment and Counterfeit Check Scam
Attention: The DeKalb Police Department wants to warn residents of two types of scams that are affecting people all across the state, an unemployment scam, and a counterfeit check scam.
The unemployment scam is using individuals' identities to file for unemployment insurance and they are receiving unemployment debit cards in the mail.

If you receive a debit card or an unemployment letter in the mail and did not file for unemployment, you do not activate the card and should check your credit report for suspicious activity. Individuals should also file a police report and call the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 1-800-814-0513 to report receiving the unsolicited card. Reports also can be filed through the IDES website.
The counterfeit check scam starts when an individual receives an email from a company offering a job. After the individual fills out and returns a 1099 tax form, the company mails out a fraudulent check. The company then asks the person to cash the check, use a portion of the check for office supplies, and send the remaining funds be sent back to the business via a wire transfer.

To protect yourself from identity theft, the department recommends that you:
  • Verify the company you are receiving an offer from is from somewhere you have applied to;
  • Verify that the company you received a job offer from is legitimate before sending any personal information; and,
  • If an employer insists that you wire funds, end the interaction immediately.

If you a victim of this scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and reach out to the police department to file a report.
Visit the City's Employment Page to view and apply for open positions. For more info, contact Human Resources at 815-748-2398. 
General Property Maintenance
Before the snow starts accumulating, it is time to look around your property and make a plan to take care of general property maintenance so you, your family, and guests are safe and ready for the cold. Here are a few things to check:

  • Clean up any leftover storm/yard waste
  • put away items hanging around from the summer
  • Check your structures for rodent access.
  • Check for gutters and downspouts that may have come loose in the recent storms
  • secure deck boards and reset walking stones
  • finish up those last minute caulking/sealing/painting projects
Community Development Block Grant
The City receives a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) every year. The average grant amount is $400,000, but the amount varies based on a formula that includes a number of factors such as the City’s estimated population, age of the local housing stock, and the number of households living in poverty. The City utilizes these funds to support services and projects that are designed to assist in the creation of a viable community by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities for persons of low and moderate income. Current projects include the Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program to improve the quality of the local housing stock, grants to local social service agencies through the Public Services Program to provide services to residents in need, the demolition of condemned structures to improve neighborhood stability, and Public Facilities projects to improve resident access through infrastructure improvements such as road resurfacing, installation of accessible sidewalks, water main replacements, and broadband access. Projects are planned several years in advance and funding is committed to the identified projects.

This year has been a challenge with new needs arising due to Coronavirus. Local government, businesses, and social service agencies have all experienced an increase in costs and a decrease in revenues as a result of the pandemic. Enhanced cleaning protocols and safety enhancements cost money at a time when business income, tax revenue, and donations have decreased. The number of households living in poverty is expected to increase due to job losses, reductions in work hours, and leaving the workforce to care for at-risk family members and/or young children who are attending school remotely. As poverty increases, maintaining housing stability and access to food becomes critical.

HUD has anticipated these changes and issued additional CDBG funding under the CARES Act. The City has received $271,899 to address increased needs that are a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The City is utilizing these funds to partner with local agencies for additional services. The bulk of the funds will be used for rent/mortgage payment assistance and utility payment assistance to help low-income residents maintain their housing. Residents in need can contact the Family Service Agency Community Action Program who is partnering with the City to distribute these funds. Residents can call 815-758-8616 to talk to FSA staff for eligibility information and assistance. Funding was also allocated to Elder Care Services, Hope Haven, and Safe Passage to ensure continuation of access to these vital services.

The City recently received notice that a second allocation of $272,425 will be made to continue to address pandemic-related needs. Planning for the best use of these funds is currently in progress. Resident input is an essential component of this process. If you have suggestions regarding pandemic-related needs that could be addressed, please email your suggestion to .  All suggestions will be taken into consideration and reviewed for eligibly (under HUD guidelines) and feasibility in terms of funding.  When the plan is finalized, the proposal will be published for public comment and brought to City Council for a public hearing, discussion, and approval.
Quick Links
Notice of Utility Billing Changes
Effective January 1st, 2021, the City of DeKalb will be mailing utility bills for residential accounts to property owners or managers only and will no longer be mailing a duplicate bill to tenants. This is in efforts to be more efficient and economical by way of delivering services to our residents and business community. In 2019, staffing reductions were implemented in several departments to help improve the long-term fiscal health of the City. These staffing reductions have prompted us to reevaluate how certain services are delivered and identify long term cost saving for the City.

To find out more information on the changes of utility billing you can click here.
Bicycle Friendly Community Public Survey
The City of DeKalb has recently reapplied to the Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Program to retain our recognition as a Bronze Level Biking Community through the League of American Bicyclists. This is an initiative through Live Healthy DeKalb County, and its purpose is to establish a roadmap to how to better develop DeKalb to be a community that values bicycling as a means of transportation, as well as a recreation option for all residents in DeKalb.
The City of DeKalb has been asked by the BFC Program Director to provide a public survey link to residents of our community to help the program team to better understand the experience of local bicyclists’ experiences in our community. This survey is open to anyone who is familiar with bicycling in our community. This survey is meant to provide context for the BFC team’s decision-making process, as well as valuable feedback from residents to help us determine what else is needed for us to become a more bicyclist friendly community. This survey will remain open through Sunday, November 15, 2020. We thank you for participating in this public survey, you can access it below:
Receive important notifications from the City by signing up for ALERT DeKalb. Text, email, and phone messages are used to alert the public to emergency situations, severe weather, and traffic disruptions.

Users can also text ALERTDEKALB to 67283 to report criminal or suspicious activity and quality of life concerns.
Loose-Leaf Collection
DeKalb’s Annual Loose-Leaf Collection begins Monday, October 26, and will continue through Friday, December 4, 2020. Leaves are collected Monday through Friday from 7am to 4pm. Residents should rake leaves into a narrow row parallel to the backside of the curb.  Vacuum trucks traveling curbside will pick up the leaves. Leaf piles must be free of debris such as large tree branches and rocks. To help prevent street flooding, do not place leaves in the street.
Crews will begin in the south half of DeKalb and work north to Lincoln Highway, to the northern city limits. The City is anticipating 3-4 collection cycles. To ensure your leaves are picked up by the final collection cycle, please make sure all leaves are raked to the curb by 7am, on November 30th. Schedule and locations change to accommodate weather conditions. Public Works ceases leaf collection operations in the event of snow.
For more information, contact the Public Works Office at (815) 748-2040.
Upcoming City Hall Closures
City offices will be closed on the following days in November:

  • November 11 - Veterans Day
  • November 26 - Thanksgiving Day
  • November 27 - Day After Thanksgiving

Normal office hours will resume on the following business day. If you need more immediate assistance, please call the Police Department's non-emergency number at 815-748-8400.
Upcoming Meetings
Please note that due to ongoing COVID-19 health concerns, meetings are subject to cancellation. Check the City of DeKalb's Agenda Center for the most up to date information.
Planning and Zoning Commission
November 2, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Board of Fire & Police Commissioners
November 3, 5 p.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Human Relations Commission
November 3, 6:30 p.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Citizens' Environmental Commission
November 5, 4 p.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Economic Development Commission
November 6, 8:30 a.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Foreign Fire Insurance Tax Board
November 9, 8 a.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Committee of the Whole Meeting
November 9, 5 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Regular City Council Meeting
November 9, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

DeKalb Public Library Board
November 11, 7 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library
Citizens' Community Enhancement Commission
November 16, 4 p.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Special City Council & Finance Advisory Committee Meeting
November 16, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Planning and Zoning Commission
November 16, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Special City Council & Finance Advisory Committee Meeting
November 18, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Committee of the Whole Meeting
November 23, 5 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Regular City Council Meeting
November 23, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Citizens' Community Enhancement Commission
November 23, 4 p.m. at the DeKalb Police Department

Airport Advisory Board
November 24, 7 p.m. at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport
To view agendas for City meetings, please go to the City's Agenda Center here.
To check for meeting cancellations and location updates, please check the City Website here.
Community Events
Northern Illinois University Events
DeKalb Campus

Northern Illinois University offers a variety of music, arts, and entertainment events that are open to the public. Check out NIU's Events Calendar for a full list of events.

Egyptian Theatre Events
135 North Second Street, DeKalb, IL

The Egyptian Theatre invites you to come join them for the events they will be putting on in November! For more information and tickets, please visit the Egyptian Theatre website.

DeKalb Hometown Hero
Downtown DeKalb

DeKalb Hometown Hero banners have returned to downtown to acknowledge some of our local veterans. To register for a banner, request an application from the DeKalb American Legion. You will be notified if your application is approved and a $100 fee will be required.

It's A Wonderful Life
Downtown DeKalb
Friday, November 6, 2020 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The DeKalb Downtown Merchants invite you to enjoy a weekend exploring a preview of holiday selections. It will be a fun event to welcome the upcoming holidays. Our merchants want to help you help our community. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to our local food pantry and get 10% off your purchase. (*some exclusions may apply).

For more information on this event checkout the Facebook page.
DeKalb Public Library Events
309 Oak Street, DeKalb, IL

The DeKalb Public Library is offering virtual and in person programs and events for children and adults of all ages. Some of the great events taking place this month are a Virtual Crime Fiction Book Club, Virtual Musical Mornings, and they are having a large virtual event which is: Connections, Linking the Medieval Days to our Modern World. Check out their website for details.

Kishwaukee College: Discover Kish Virtual info,
Wednesday, November 11, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Kishwaukee Community College will be hosting an event on November 11, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for prospective students and their families via zoom. This event will allow students that are interested in attending Kishwaukee Community College a chance to view the type of programs they are offering along with a lot of other great information! To register for this event, you can click here.

R.E.A.L Meal
First United Methodist Church,
317 N. 4th St. DeKalb, IL 60115,
November 22, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

The First United Methodist Church is hosting their R.E.A.L meal on November 22, from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. This is a free drive-thru dinner event, first come first serve. You can pick up the meal in the alley behind the church. For more information you can access that here.
Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 health concerns, these events are subject to cancellation.
City Officials
Jerry Smith, Mayor

Carolyn Morris, Alderman - 1st Ward

Bill Finucane, Alderman - 2nd Ward

Tracy Smith, Alderman - 3rd Ward

Greg Perkins, Alderman - 4th Ward
Scott McAdams, Alderman - 5th Ward

Mike Verbic, Alderman - 6th Ward

Anthony Faivre, Alderman - 7th Ward

Lynn Fazekas, City Clerk

Bill Nicklas, City Manager
Hours of Operation
City Phone Numbers
City Hall          
164 E. Lincoln Highway
Monday - Friday  
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Police Station
700 West Lincoln Highway
Monday - Friday   
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Public Works
1216 Market Street
Monday - Friday
7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport    
3232 Pleasant Street  
Monday - Friday     
7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
City Clerk 815-748-2095 

City Manager's Office 815-748-2090

Community Development Department 815-748-2070

DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport 815-748-8102

Finance Department 815-748-2000

Fire/Police Emergency 911

Fire Non-Emergency 815-748-8460

Mayor's Office 815-748-2099

Police Non-Emergency 815-748-8400

Public Works Department 815-748-2040
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