Millions of dollars in the hole for years, the city of Dixon got a little closer to restoring tens of millions stolen by former comptroller Rita Crundwell. The settlement couldn't come at a better time.
People in the city of Dixon, took another step forward Tuesday, October 15, 2013 to putting former comptroller Rita Crundwell's crimes behind them.
"Looks like everybody's starting to go the forward position instead of looking back," says Dixon's mayor, Jim Burke.
The city council signed off on a $40 million settlement deal with the bank and auditor that failed to catch Crundwell's crime.
"I think every member of the city council is very satisfied with the settlement agreement that was reached," said Burke.
Crundwell, sentenced to serve nearly two decades in prison after stealing $53 million from the city. The city made most of that back, through the sales of her assets and this settlement deal. Money that Dixon's mayor says the city could use.
"It will really put the city in good financial position when we get through all of this," said Burke.
Especially since the city is $18 million dollars in debt. A public meeting was held a week before for suggestions on how the money should be spent. The city's finance director says pay off the city's debt first. Then look at infrastructure repairs like sewers and roads.
"I think we're fortunate that we got the settlement that we got, the size that we got and now we need to use it wisely," said Dixon resident, Gary Burger.
The council's vote, hopefully a sign of better things to come for the city of Dixon.
"We just need to be careful on how we do it, how we spend it, but I think we can finally consider ourselves back on the road to recovery," said Burger.
City leaders also discussed the plan of hiring a first ever city administrator in a closed executive session. They'll decide what to do with the money after they hire someone to that position.