Posted Online: April 15, 2013, 10:20 pm

Silvis council will consider updating police equipment

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By Leon Lagerstam llagerstam@qconline.com

Silvis aldermen are expected to approve a new budget tonight that frees up $200,000 for updated police radio equipment and service.

A public hearing on the $3.95 million budget will be held at 6 tonight, before the 6:30 p.m. council meeting when the council is expected to vote on the budget.

The budget lists $3.95 million in general fund expenditures and $4.1 million in revenues, a difference of $144,000, finance committee chairman and mayor-elect Tom Conrad said.

Revenues are up $566,000 compared to last year's general fund budget, while expenditures climbed by $706,000.

As a result, the police department will be able to get a new RACOM radio-band system, used by other local departments, to improve communications, mayor-elect Conrad said.

"Right now, if we transport a prisoner to the Rock Island County jail, we lose radio contact by the time we hit Rock Island city limits," he said.

During a recent foot-pursuit of a suspect involved in a hit-and-run at the Silvis Hy-Vee, officers had to rely on cellphones during the chase, he said.

The budget calls for adding another $200,000 to the city's reserve fund to draw closer to an auditor's recommendation to have $1 million in reserve to cover three months of operating costs, mayor-elect Conrad said.

"After we make that payment, we will have $400,000 in reserve funds," he said.

In other action, the committee-of-the-whole will discuss amending a fence ordinance and putting it on the council's May 7 agenda.