On Feb. 2, Mr. Lyons presented several new proposals: The Township has agreed to absorb $300,000 in expenses for social services, an increase of $100,000 over the City’s initial request. Funding for social services (through the City’s Mental Health Board) would remain at $885,000, Mr. Lyons said. In addition, Mr. Lyons said Northwestern University officials have “tentatively agreed” to contribute $100,000 toward the construction of the City’s new salt dome if the City does not increase the athletic tax. (The proposal was to increase that tax by 2 percent, adding $100,000 to the City’s revenues.) The cigarette tax could be increased by as much as 10 cents per pack, adding about $80,000 of revenues, Mr. Lyons said.

“If everything comes out as budgeted,” Mr. Lyons said, at the end of the upcoming fiscal year we would increase our reserves by about $294,000.” He said the reserves would be at about $14 million or 15 percent of the general fund; the minimum required under City policy is 8.3 percent, he added.