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Will County Executive Winfrey delivers 2020 State of the County
Anastasia Tuskey
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Will County Executive Winfrey delivers 2020 State of the County

Highlights accomplishments and challenges

At the September meeting of the Will County Board, County Executive Denise Winfrey delivered the annual State of the County address. She acknowledged some key highlights and outlined plans for the county’s anticipated growth.

“This has certainly been an unprecedented year” Winfrey said. “We are all learning a lot as we move forward during this pandemic. However, I am proud of all our county departments who have managed to continue to deliver critical services to our residents, often in unique ways. Will county is moving forward into the next decade.

The 2020 State of the County was delivered via WebEx due to limitations on public gatherings. Winfrey shared information about federal funding available to the county, as well as local municipalities, small businesses, and non-profit agencies, all of which have felt the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Will County received more than $120 million to distribute to our local governments, small business owners, and non-profit agencies,” she said. “These entities are providing incredible support to our residents. We are fortunate to be able to share this funding with them.”

Winfrey also acknowledged the progress on the county’s largest capital campaign in its history with the opening of the new Health Department, Animal Control, and Emergency Management Agency garage. These buildings helped consolidate important county services and allow these departments to operate more efficiently.

“Efficiency is key to fiscal responsibility.” Winfrey said. “The investments were are making today will benefit our residents for many years to come.

She also mentioned the date for the long awaited ribbon cutting on the new county courthouse.

“We will be hosting a virtual ribbon cutting on Oct. 9 for this incredible building,” said Winfrey. “This project has been a long time coming and we look forward to the day when the courthouse is fully open for business. It is a marque building and will be a great boost to the redevelopment of downtown Joliet.”

Transportation was another key topic of the annual speech. As North America’s largest inland port, the county has been actively studying and planning for future projects to enhance travel in the region.

“These studies have been very cooperative between the municipalities, the state, and the county,” Winfrey said. “Full engagement of the freight industry and the public are a key part of the planning process. We must all work together to keep Will County a great place to live, work, raise a family, and have a business.”

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