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DeKalb Municipal Band could get some cut funding restored

DeKALB – After cutting $20,000 of city funding to the DeKalb Municipal Band the past two years because of budget constraints, the city council will decide Monday whether to restore $5,000 of that city money for the band.

The council will vote during their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St., whether to enter into an amended 2019 agreement with the band to fund it up to $38,200. In fiscal 2017, funding for the band was $53,200. It was reduced by $10,000 in 2018 and another $10,000 for fiscal 2019.

The city budget earmarked $5,000 for relocation expenses expected when they hired a new city manager, but because Bill Nicklas was a local candidate, the relocation money was not needed. Nicklas is recommending the $5,000 be restored to the municipal band’s budget, documents show.

Nicklas said band members recently approached him asking for all $10,000 to be restored, or at least $5,000 to re-pad folding chairs the band uses in the band shell at Hopkins Park, which Nicklas said band members told him was an unexpected cost. The Municipal Band also raised $5,000 on their own accord, city documents show.

“I personally think we could afford to restore [more funding] as a more permanent thing moving forward, and I haven’t been shy about that,” Nicklas said. “But I need some direction from the council. We’ll be putting together the 2020 budget in the months ahead.”

In other news, Nicklas also will ask the city council to consider allowing Syndeo, the city’s internet provider, to install two 80-feet by 180-feet buildings at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport to more efficiently store their fiber optic cables and city servers.

Syndeo is owned and operated by DeKalb Fiber Optic, and houses seven fiber-optic racks, totalling 2,000 strands of fiber optic cable, in an underground vault at the northeast corner of Peace Road and Pleasant Street.

The new space is proposed north of the airport’s maintenance building at 2200 Pleasant St.

The underground vault design causes the cables to be susceptible to uncontrolled temperatures in the winter and summer, and runs the risk of being chewed on by rats and other animals, Nicklas said.

“It’s not a good set up,” Nicklas said. “We have some space at the west end of the airport, where the fiber optic cables would get hung in nice, neat metal racks like you would see in an IT network center where people can work on it.”

Council will give Nicklas feedback Monday and then vote on the item at a later meeting.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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