City budget near final; developers given help

    Decatur City Council moved its budget to within one final stage of passage and also provided a break for local and area developers at its meeting on Tuesday night.
    Prior to the council meeting, a public hearing was held for the 2012 budget and, with no objections aired, council gave unanimous approval on two readings. The third and final reading — and approval — will come at the October 4 meeting.
    The $6,855,869 budget then will go to the state Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF). It sets a tax rate of $1.2878 on each $100 of assessed valuation.
    The DLGF could make further cuts in the budget and thus lower the tax rate, or simply leave the numbers as is. The decision should come in November or December.
    On another matter, council suspended the rules and passed on all three readings a change in a city ordinance designed to provide some help for local and area developers faced with the staggering cost of copper.
    Whereas in the past copper pipe was required by city code for all structures, the new change allows developers to use Polypipe.
    "We feel pretty confident now that we can approve it (Polypipe)," city Water Superintendent Jim Inskeep said.
    "Copper is very expensive right now and, hopefully, this can help our developers," Mayor John Schultz added.
    Councilman Charlie Cook concurred, noting that as the police resource officer at Adams Central Schools he has been told of some staggering copper prices by construction crews working on the AC improvement project.
    Polypipe is a large manufacturer of plastic pressure pipe systems made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a polyethylene thermoplastic, according to Wikipedia. The pipes are used for waste water and piped water.
    Council also approved a change in one other ordinance, removing a handicapped parking zone on Seventh St. just north of Monroe St. The person it was installed for several years ago has moved from the home there.