Board passes balanced 2018 budget
$74.6 million levy calls for no new taxes
“Counties across Illinois face funding cuts from the state, so we had to make some tough choices this year and holding the line on operational costs of county government was vital to this budget,” said Board Speaker Jim Moustis. “For us, this means cutting back on travel and salary expenses for the board. In the end, tightening our belts a little will keep the budget balanced and the county fiscally healthy.”
Next year, the state will take more money from counties, resulting in a $2.4 million cut to Will County. Some of this shortfall will be made up by the county's growing taxpayer pool. The budget also cuts salaries in departments across the board by $1 million.
The budget allocates additional funding for the Sheriff's department, including $1.3 million for overtime. Fricilone says the department has consistently run over its budget for the past few years, so increasing it more accurately reflects what will be spent. He also said that the County Board is asking the Sheriff’s Department to work with them to reduce their overtime costs by 50 percent over the next several years.
"We would've liked to provide more money for essential human services for our residents, but I'm glad we did get additional funding for the Health Department," said Democratic leader Herb Brooks, Jr. (D-Joliet). "It's important we pay attention not only to the financial health of the county, but also the general health and wellbeing of its residents."
"Preparing the budget is about more than shuffling dollars around," said minority whip, Lauren Staley-Ferry (D-Joliet). "Our county is growing and I would have liked to see funding that matches that growth and ensures that residents of Will County have access to services they need."
The Health Department will see a $357,000 funding increase.
The new budget takes effect December 1, 2017.