January 2023

Budget Shows Commitment to Lower Tax Rate, Public Safety, Roads

The new DeKalb budget continues the City’s commitments to public safety and road improvements while lowering the City’s property tax rate.

The Fiscal Year 2023 City budget, given final approval by the City Council on Dec. 12, includes positive balances in all 29 funds.

The General Fund provides for five additional police officers to respond to higher call volumes. Two hires will replace the patrol officers who became School Resource Officers this year so there is no loss in shift strength, and three additional hires will put more patrol officers on the streets.

The budget also includes one additional firefighter/paramedic and three telecommunicators.

Next year, $2.6 million is budgeted for road repairs. This continues the City’s increased investment in street maintenance, which had been averaging just $860,000 in 2018. The local funding will be on top of state-funded projects to reconstruct the North First Street and Lucinda Avenue bridges.

DeKalb is investing more in public safety and roads while at the same time lowering the City’s property tax rate. Under the requested levy, the City’s tax rate would be lowered by 7.4 percent, so the owner of a home with a base equalized assessed valuation of around $107,000 would pay around $10 less to the City. Additionally, the DeKalb Public Library’s tax rate would drop about one percent, and the combined rate will see an estimated 5.6-percent reduction from the previous year.

The lower tax rates have been made possible by recent economic development successes, particularly in the Chicago West Business Center, which have grown the City’s tax base.

The budget can be viewed here.

In This Issue

DeKalb Year in Review

City Council Supports Community Center in Annie Glidden North 

Snow Plow Safety & Preventing Frozen Pipes

Christmas Tree Collection Scheduled

Pay It Forward Benefits DeKalb Families

Lead Water Service Line Replacements Continue

Get DeKalb
e-News delivered straight to your inbox!
Sign Up

Free Flights for KEC Students

With DeKalb Airport serving as the home to the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC) Aviation Program, KEC students frequently have opportunities for real-life experiences. A community hangar tenant provided free flights last month to inspire further study.

DeKalb Airport Facebook Page

Learn what's happening at DeKalb Airport by following its Facebook page.

DeKalb Year in Review

As we turn the page to 2023, here’s a look at some City highlights from the past year.

City Council Supports Community Center in Annie Glidden North

The DeKalb City Council is supporting a community center in the Annie Glidden North neighborhood as part of the plan for the remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

The budget for the remaining ARPA funds approved by the Council on Nov. 28 includes a $100,000 incentive for a community center being developed by New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. 

The 11,000-square-foot facility would be opened to the entire community and built on the church property on Twombly Road, according to Church Senior Pastor Joseph Mitchell. The plans include a full-size gym, industrial kitchen, two classrooms and office space for starting small businesses or nonprofits.

Sixth Ward Alderman Mike Verbic (right in photo) said the project would address a longstanding need in the community.

“Many have spoken up about a community center that would serve our northwest area of the City,” said Verbic. “And it’s been many, many years. It’s beyond just these recent listening sessions. Planning and discussion have gone on for 20 years.”

Mayor Cohen Barnes (left in photo) said this plan also answers the question of who would run a community center. Barnes said he has full confidence in the church’s ability to operate the facility successfully.

“I thought it was a perfect opportunity for the City to be able to lean in and contribute and help with a small part of the fundraising that’s going to be required,” said Barnes. “(We want to) make sure the neighborhood knows that we’re out there, we listened, we heard and we’re going to put our money where our mouth is.”

The budget for the remaining ARPA funds also includes $50,000 for the Egyptian Theatre, a compromise from the original $75,000 requested, $25,000 for the Stage Coach Players, $50,000 for roof repairs at the Glidden Homestead Barn, $50,000 for upgraded transit stops in Annie Glidden North and $100,000 for upgraded street lighting and cameras in the neighborhood.

The items are part of $10 million in ARPA funding. The City has dedicated a vast majority of the funding to rehiring public safety workers, replacing lead water service lines and investing in disproportionately impacted communities.

Visit the City's Employment Page to view and apply for open positions. For more info, contact Human Resources at 815-748-2398. 

Human Resources Openings

Looking for a new career in 2023?

The City is currently accepting applications for Public Works Maintenance. Initial review of applications to begin Jan. 4. Apply here.

Want to be notified when positions open within the City?

Complete our online job interest card. For the next 12 months after you submit this form, you will receive an email notification each time a position opens in the City that matches one of the categories you've chosen. 

Snow Plow Safety & Preventing Frozen Pipes

The winter storm that arrived Dec. 22 did not bring as much snow as first predicted, but DeKalb Public Works snow plow crews were out multiple times in subzero temperatures because of blowing and drifting snow caused by strong winds.

As winter continues, keep these tips in mind to stay safe around snow plows.

Along with snow, another winter hazard is frozen and broken pipes. Here are some tips to help keep the water flowing. For more information from the American Red Cross on preventing and thawing frozen pipes, visit here

Quick Links

Budgets & Annual Reports

City Maps

Contact the City

Meetings & Agendas

Municipal Code

Online Payments

Staff Directory

Transparency & FOIA

Christmas Tree Collection Scheduled

LRS will provide a special collection of Christmas trees for the first two weeks in January.

• Flocked trees, trees with shiners, tinsel, light bulbs, glitter, wire, or plastic or in plastic bags will not be included in this special collection and are considered a large item.

• Lightbulbs should be completely removed from live trees and artificial trees when possible and recycled at County events.

Questions regarding holiday refuse or recycling may be directed to LRS at (815) 770-7550.

DeKalb Fire Offers Safety Tips for the New Year

Did you realize that a smoke alarm will not always work, even if it has new batteries? That is just one of the many new year fire safety tips that you need to keep in mind as you bring in 2023. Staying safe as you bring in a new year is important so that you can enjoy the time with friends and family. No matter if you’re in an apartment or home, these fire safety tips can help you to reduce risk and enjoy a safe new year celebration.

Know Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms actually have a shelf life. That means they don’t always last and need to be changed out from time to time. These items need to be replaced around every 10 years or so. Make sure you check the date and batteries in the alarm to ensure your safety. So many tragic instances could be prevented simply by having a working smoke alarm in the home. If you remove batteries from the alarm, put them right back in. This simple mistake could cost you your life or injury during a fire.

Educate Your Family

Make sure that your family knows what to do if a fire breaks out in the home. Part of your fire safety is to have an escape route planned out and practiced. Talk with your children about where to go and what to do if the smoke alarms go off. Education is key to making sure everyone gets out safely in the event of a fire.

Get New Appliances

While you may be trying to get every last minute out of your favorite appliance, choose to be safe, not sorry. Older appliances that have been used a lot can cause a fire when you least expect it. Make sure to check the cords on the items you’re using and ensure that everything is still intact. When in doubt, throw it out!

Watchful Eye

Never leave any food that is cooking unattended. You want to make sure someone responsible is in the kitchen at all times, keeping an eye out for issues. Fires starting from cooking food are one of the leading reasons that homes are destroyed. Make sure you always check the stove and oven before leaving the kitchen as well.

Turn Off The Heaters

When you use space heaters, be sure you do not go to sleep with them still on. Keep them a safe distance away from curtains, furniture, and clothing to prevent a fire.

These are just a few ways you can help prevent a tragedy this new years and also keep your family safe during the celebration. Have a great and fire safe 2023!


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.

Pay It Forward Benefits DeKalb Families

On Dec. 21, Chief Byrd held the second annual Dekalb Friends and Family Christmas Pay-It-Forward Program.

The program was inspired by the Illinois State Police Pay-It-Forward program that Chief Byrd started in 2016. With $2,100 in donations from department staff, City staff, friends, and family, Chief Byrd was able to help 20 local families. Thank you to those that donated this year to help make the holidays brighter for our citizens.

Facebook Video

Watch Chief Byrd surprise more families on the DeKalb Police Department Facebook page.

Lead Water Service Line Replacements Continue

The DeKalb Public Works Utility Department has replaced lead water service lines at 57 homes this year.

Another 25 lead service lines have been verified for replacement, and work continues to identify all lead lines in the City.

An inventory of water service lines can be found here. Homes built before 1960 or where the pipe material is listed as “lead” or “uncertain” in the inventory are encouraged to contact the Utility Department so the home’s pipe material can be verified. The Utility Department can be reached at 815-748-2050.

2023 Annual CDBG Action Plan Draft Available

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year plan that provides a unified vision for developing actions designed to address housing and community development needs. Development of the Plan is a collaborative process that creates the opportunity for citizen participation in setting long-term strategies and short-term actions to meet priority needs. An Action Plan: One Year Use of Funds is required by regulation under the CDBG Program. The City of DeKalb will receive an estimated $400,000 in CDBG funds for grant year 2023-2024 (April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024).

The 2023 Annual Action Plan is subject to consideration and public input by members of the community and DeKalb City Council. All interested citizens are invited to review the plan and submit written comments during the 30-day review period beginning December 23, 2022 until no later than 5:00 p.m. January 23, 2023. Please address all comments to:

Jennifer Yochem, Community Services Coordinator

164 East Lincoln Highway

DeKalb, IL 60115

or Jennifer.Yochem@cityofdekalb.com

Citizens are invited to attend and provide input on the 2023 Annual Action Plan at a Public Hearing to be held on January 23, 2023, at the regular meeting of City Council. The meeting will be held in the Yusunas Room of the DeKalb Public Library starting at 6:00 PM at 309 Oak Street, DeKalb, IL 60115. For further information, contact Jennifer Yochem, Community Services Coordinator at 815-748-2366 or via email at Jennifer.Yochem@cityofdekalb.com.

The draft plan can be viewed here.

Copies of the draft plan can also be reviewed at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., and in the Community Development Department on the Second Floor of DeKalb City Hall, 164 E. Lincoln Hwy.

City Hall Closures

DeKalb municipal offices will be closed the following days:

  • Monday, Jan. 2, New Year's Day observed
  • Monday, Jan. 16, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Upcoming Meetings

Citizens' Environmental Commission

Jan. 5, 4:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

City Council

Jan. 9, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

DeKalb Public Library Board

Jan. 11, 7 p.m. in the Bilder Family Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Citizens' Community Enhancement Commission

Jan. 17, 4 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

Planning & Zoning Commission

Jan. 17, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Fire Pension Board

Jan. 19, 9 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

City Council

Jan. 23, 6 p.m. in the Yusunas Room at the DeKalb Public Library

Airport Advisory Board

Jan. 24, 7 p.m. in the West Community Hangar at the DeKalb Airport

Police Pension Board

Jan. 27, 10 a.m. in the 2nd Floor Training Room at the DeKalb Police Department

Joint Review Board

Jan. 27, 1 p.m. in the 1st Floor Conference Room at the DeKalb City Hall

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.

January Community Events

NIU Convocation Center

1525 West Lincoln Highway

The Harlem Globetrotters

The originators of basketball style, influencers on today’s game, and skilled athletes of the highest order, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 124 countries and territories on six continents since their founding in 1926.

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 7 p.m.

Purchase tickets here.

Northern Illinois University

STEM Café: Wastewater Surveillance Testing for Public Health

Many communities – including DeKalb – are now testing wastewater for pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Wastewater surveillance testing is an exciting new tool for public health professionals. Hear from NIU Professor of Biological Sciences Barrie Bode, Laboratory Scientist Syed Hyder and Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District Engineer Mike Holland about the wastewater testing programs at NIU and the broader DeKalb area.

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m.

Fatty’s Pub and Grille

1312 West Lincoln Highway

Registration for the free program is encouraged and can be done here.

DeKalb Park District

A Night with the Minions

Enjoy a series of minion-themed crafts and activities!

Friday, Jan. 20, 5 p.m.

Haish Gymnasium

303 South 9th Street

Registration for the event is required and can be done here.

DeKalb Public Library

309 Oak Street

James the Magician

James Ember has performed his award winning, interactive, comedy magic show throughout the world. This magic show is free and intended for ages 5 and up, even adults! No registration is required.

Saturday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m.

See all of the library's programs on its calendar.

Get community news all month long by following the City on social media.

Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  YouTube
City Officials
Cohen Barnes, Mayor

Carolyn Morris, Alderwoman - 1st Ward

Barb Larson, Alderwoman - 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

Sasha Cohen, 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     

8 a.m. - 5 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 815-758-1886

Police Non-Emergency 815-748-8400

Public Works Department 815-748-2040
Follow us!
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube