Will County Takes Next Step Forward in Budget Process; Approves Levy Estimate to Fund Capital Improvement Projects - Oct. 16, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 16, 2014
Will County Takes Next Step Forward in Budget Process; Approves Levy Estimate to Fund Capital Improvement Projects
$2.4 million targeted for critical infrastructure improvements
JOLIET – At today’s meeting of the Will County Board, the big issue for consideration was approval of the 2014-2015 Annual Aggregate Levy estimate which was part of the budget proposal made by Will County Executive Larry Walsh at the September 18th County Board meeting during his Annual Budget Address. Walsh also proposed a five-year capital and roads plan as part of his September presentation.
“There are challenges that remain ahead for Will County government,” Walsh said. “Many of our facilities have far outlived their useful lives and no longer adequately serve the needs of our public or our staff. Our five-year capital improvement plan addresses current deficiencies in both our facilities and our use of technology. It also outlines a pro-active plan for the future of Will County.”
Today’s vote increases the Will County Board’s tax levy by 1.5 percent, which is equal to the current rate of inflation as per the consumer price index (CPI). For the majority of homeowners in Will County, this reflects an annual increase of $5.50. The new levy will generate approximately $3 million annually of which nearly $2.4 million will be applied to current and future capital improvements for building renovations, new construction, and technology upgrades.
Current projects include work on the recently acquired former Social Security building, located at 158 Scott Street, which will soon house the Coroner’s and Recorder of Deeds’ offices. These two countywide officials will consolidate from their current locations into one building at the coroner of Scott and Cass Street’s in downtown Joliet.
“This project alone saves the county $250,000 annually in rent expenses,” said Denise
Winfrey, Chairman of the Capital Improvements Committee for the Will County Board. “We also plan to begin work on the second and third floors of the recently acquired First Midwest Bank Building to accommodate key operations for the Sheriff’s Department - again, resulting in reduced cost and more efficiency for county law enforcement.”
Will County Board Speaker Herb Brooks added, “Our business communities look to Will County government to stay ahead of infrastructure improvements. Investing in new public facilities encourages additional private sector redevelopment.”
The next step for the County Board is to complete the expenditure plans and the entire budget for a final vote at the November 2014 board meeting.