Highlights include progress on capital projects and transportation studies;
Collaboration on key initiatives critical to success
Collaboration, progress and strong financial health. These were topics of Will County Executive Larry Walsh’s annual State of the County address. Walsh outlined the progress being made on the county’s largest capital program in its history and also cited the reasons behind the county’s strong fiscal health.
“The success we enjoy is no accident,” Walsh said in his speech. “It is the result of many years of being fiscally responsible, planning wisely, and working together toward shared goals.”
Walsh acknowledged the strength of the county comes from its sound financial policy that includes a strong cash reserve policy and a clear plan to complete important capital projects like the new Public Safety Complex and the courthouse. He also noted that working in collaboration with the County Board, Countywide officials, and other elected officials throughout Will County were key to the success seen throughout the region.
“We have maintained an AA+ rating since 2009 which enabled us to save money on our latest bond offering of $175 million to fund these projects,” he said. “We have continued to receive funding for road and infrastructure projects from the RTA tax which will total more than $23 million this year.”
“The key to getting things done locally is that my administration has always made it a priority to work with other elected officials, the private sector, and the general public,” said Walsh. “We know that to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves, we need to collaborate and compromise. That has been the reason for our success.”
Other important highlights included the county’s recognition for its work addressing veterns’ homelessness and being named the first SolSmart Bronze community in Illinois by the International City/County Management Association.
“Will County was the named the 50th community in the United States for our success in helping veterans find permanent homes. We are also the first community in Illinois to be recognized for our efforts in developing solar as an alternative energy source.”
Walsh also stressed the importance of the work the county is doing to fight the opioid use epidemic. Through expanded Narcan training and the initiation of the Safe Passage program, Will County is helping to save lives and connect people to treatment.
“Despite the challenges we face, we are working together to achieve great things in Will County,” he added. “We continue to move forward, prepare for our growth, and attract quality economic investment. I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished so far and enthusiastic about what the future holds for Will County.”