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An Attentive Municipal Organization that Connects with Community, Commerce, and Nature.

Committee of the Whole Minutes

Monday, December 4, 2023

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
via telecommunications.

Mayor Gaffino called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Mayor Mark Gaffino, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Todd Niedzwiedz

Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Jason Paprocki, Community & Economic Development Director Nathan Darga, Village Attorney Ed Boula, Public Works Director Brian Richter, Deputy Police Chief Joe Gorski.



1. Class D Liquor License (Jay’s Wine and Liquors)
Administrator Bosco explained that Jay’s Wine and Liquors had been in business for a while, however it was changing ownership. Within the Village, liquor licenses do not transfer with new ownership. The Village Board will vote to remove the Liquor License held by the previous owners and then vote to issue a new one to the new owners. Staff requested that the Board review the paperwork submitted by the new owner. If the Board had no concerns, the request to issue a new Liquor License would be brought before the Village Board at the next Board meeting.
The Board had no questions or concerns.
2. Local Municipal Sales Tax Referendum
Administrator Bosco reminded the Board that they had just approved the referendum question that will be on the ballot in the spring. Bosco wanted to share with the Board some of the ideas the Staff had been working on for public outreach in an effort to educate the public. He reminded the Board that the Village’s attorneys had advised that Staff and Village Board, in their professional capacities, cannot advocate for the passage of the referendum but can educate with factual information.
Finance Director Paprocki began his presentation with the question that had just previously been approved at the Village Board meeting. The question read “Shall the Village of North Aurora increase its Non-Home Rule Municipal Service Occupation Tax (i.e. local municipal sales tax) form 0.5% to a rate of 1.0% for the expenditures on municipal operations, expenditures on public improvements and infrastructure, an/or for property tax relief?” Paprocki stated that although the question addressing all three purposes for the tax revenue were included in the question, the focus of the public outreach would focus on capital projects and the new public works building.
Paprocki spoke about the Village outreach through Facebook updates. He said that staff had many informational updates planned over the coming months. The first post was planned for the week of December 4, 2023. Then periodic updates were planned around key dates, the start of early voting and voting by mail, town hall and Public Works open house meetings and Election Day. Paprocki provided a couple of sample Facebook posts.
Paprocki spoke about the use of the community sign in the education campaign and provided a sample of what that might look like.
Paprocki provided a mockup of what the two page newsletter insert would look like. This was planned for the February/March newsletter. The insert would include general information as to what was being considered and why the Village was considering it. The newsletter would also include information about the capital projects that are being considered, including renderings of what the public works facility would look like.
Paprocki stated that the Village was also planning town hall meetings. These meetings would include staff presentations and resident Q & A. There were three dates planned one in each, January 2024, February 2024, and March 2024. Staff was also planning on Public Works garage tours on corresponding dates. These tours would occur the days following the town hall meetings.
Paprocki finished his presentation with discussion of the new dedicated website for referendum information. This would include a summary of the referendum and its need, FAQs, informational graphics, and a calendar of events.
Administrator Bosco added that during town hall meetings staff would go over funding mechanisms that the Village has in place for capital projects, the cost of the upcoming public works facility and show the attendees how much money is dedicated to capital projects and what would happen without a referendum for funding and what scenarios the Village would face in funding certain projects.
Trustee Curtis expressed that she would like to see an emphasis placed on the idea that the tax is a consumption tax that extends beyond the Village’s boarders. She did not want residents to get stuck in the mindset that it was a tax that only residents would be paying. She wanted to ensure that residents were aware that in order to keep property taxes low, the Village needed other sources of revenue. Trustee Curtis then went on to ask if there was opportunity to change the wording of the referendum question as it appears on the ballot. She stated that she would like to see the phrasing of the question changed to reflect that the purpose of the tax increase would begin the question.
The rest of the Board expressed support for that idea.
Director Paprocki stated that the feedback that he had received from the Department of Revenue was that they wanted the question to read as the statute reads, however, he stated that he could approach them with the revision.
There was further discussion regarding the change in question and the timeline for approval.



Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Curtis. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jessi Watkins
Village Clerk





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