Office of Will County Executive
Lawrence M. Walsh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Will County passes 2019 budget with bipartisan support
$569 million budget funds county debt obligations and capital projects
At today’s meeting of the Will County Board, the FY 2019 budget was adopted by a unanimous vote. The $569 million budget will fund critical county services, supports progress on capital improvement projects, and meets the county’s obligation to fund OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) and IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund). One important item that received some added attention was the funding necessary to proceed with the new Health Department building.
“I am proud the County Board and my administration were able to come to a consensus on this budget,” said County Executive Larry Walsh. “There was some concern about the amount of money that was appropriated to pay for the bonds for the Health Department, but working together we were able to compromise and agree to a spending plan that was agreeable to everyone and moves the county and the capital projects forward in a positive fashion.”
The County budget process begins in the summer months when elected officials and department heads present their requested funding and expenditures for the new fiscal year. The Executive’s office then crafts a draft budget that is presented to the County Board at the September County Board meeting. Following this presentation of the draft budget, the County Board has time to review the plan and make any additional changes that are required to complete the process. The final budget is approved at the regular November County Board meeting in advance of the new fiscal year starting on December 1st.
“There are always different ideas on how to spend the limited funds that are available to operate county government, but I am happy to report that we find a way to compromise and keep Will County moving forward,” said Walsh. “We have always tried to keep the politics out as much as possible and focus on providing effective and efficient services for our residents.”
With the final adjustments made at today’s County Board meeting, four additional correctional officers are funded at the adult detention center. This step will help with overtime costs that have been a challenge at this 24/7 facility.
Additionally, funds were identified to keep the many capital improvements projects moving forward. These include the construction of a new Health Department facility on the east side of Joliet, funding for a new financial management system for all of county government, and a new case management system for the States Attorney, Public Defender and Probation offices. All of these efforts are designed to improve the effectiveness of these critical county agencies.
The new budget takes effect on December 1st. Newly elected countywide officials and county board members will be sworn in on Monday, December 3rd.