The City of Springfield is saying "go stuff it" when it comes to enforcing building codes for energy conservation. That's after aldermen passed an ordinance that guts the capital city's energy conservation enforcement measures. Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen says that contractors must abide by state law that says new construction must comply with the latest published International Energy Conservation Code. Alderman Frank Edwards says the ordinance means the State of Illinois, not the City of Springfield, will have to pay for inspectors to enforce the codes. Not everyone was on board with the measure. Alderman Gail Simpson says it sends a bad message to residents that the city will use a loophole to get around enforcing the energy conservation codes.
Springfield city government will have to keep within a certain number of employees after aldermen voted in favor of capping the workforce at 1,500 people. The measure sponsored by Aldermen Joe McMenamin and Steve Dove would split the headcount into two side: the corporate side and utility. Mayor Mike Houston has said he doesn't see the ordinance as being necessary, but wasn't clear if he would veto the ordinance. McMenamin says that the ordinance will hold future mayoral administrations accountable when it comes to keeping the workforce limited. Once signed, the mayor would have to come to the city council with an ordinance to go beyond the 1500 threshold.
A budget proposal from Governor Pat Quinn to cap shared income tax with cities across the state doesn't sit well with the capital city. Springfield aldermen voted in favor of a resolution to oppose the Quinn's proposal to cap shared income tax money at 2012 levels. Springfield Budget Director Bill McCarty has said Quinn's proposal could cost the city up to $1.3 million a year, and even more in the years to come. The president of the Illinois Municipal League attended the city council meeting Tuesday to applaud the city for taking a stand.
On the consent agenda, aldermen approved the Legacy Sports Complex proposal, and also voted for a $55,000 contract with Layne Christensen to provide what could be the last review of city gravel pits before the Army Corp. of Engineers and EPA approve the long debated plans for Hunter Lake.