NAPERVILLE, Ill. (STMW) – Want to buy an old radio system? If so, Naperville would like to hear from you.

At a workshop meeting Monday night, the Naperville City Council discussed plans for the capital improvements program for the city. The plan involves all major capital projects planned for the next five years, as well as potential programs further down the road.

Council members also looked at the deficit in the fiscal year 2012 General Fund budget. The financial picture has brightened considerably. In November, the deficit was seen as being as high as $7 million. Since then, cost reductions and some unanticipated state grant money have whittled away at that figure.

Also, sales tax revenues are now projected to be stronger than previously thought, cutting the budget gap down to about $700,000.

City staff is now looking at ways to eliminate the gap entirely. One of the ways would be to sell the police department’s old Motorola radio equipment. Last year, the department put in a new Harris radio system for about $10 million, making the old equipment unneeded.

According to city staff, the Motorola equipment could fetch up to $300,000, closing almost half of the budget deficit.

City departments are also looking at new ways to control expenses to try and close the budget gap.

Also at the meeting, council members discussed the idea of setting some sort of limit on city debt.

Ideas included setting debt thresholds based on a percent of equalized assessed valuation, or per capita, or based on some other formula. It was also discussed whether to have a cap as just a guideline or as a “hard cap” set at a certain amount the city couldn’t surpass.

The council will discuss the idea more at a future meeting.

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