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Local News

$565M budget balanced, meets all Will County debt obligations, Walsh says

Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. leads a Will County Board meeting Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, at the Will County Building in Joliet, Ill.
Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. leads a Will County Board meeting Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, at the Will County Building in Joliet, Ill.

Will County Executive Larry Walsh outlined his proposed $565 million budget for the fiscal 2019 during his annual address Thursday morning.

The budget is balanced and meets all county debt obligations, Walsh said about 9 a.m. Thursday during a board meeting at the Will County Office Building. The debt obligations include Other Post-Employment Benefits and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund contributions.

“I am proud Will County continues to maintain our AA+ bond rating because of our strong fiscal policies,” Walsh said in a news release from his office. “The County Board and my office have worked closely together to maintain a stable cash reserve policy of 22 [percent] to 26 percent of our corporate budget. Both of these attributes are what keeps our county moving forward.”

Walsh said the total budget includes $201 million in the corporate fund that is used for the day-to-day operations of county government and $364 million in special funds used for road and capital projects.

“We were faced with challenges this year as we dealt with a reduction in our state revenues, but I am proud to say we are able to hold the line on the county’s levy,” he said. “With an expected increase in the Estimated Assessment Value in the county, the 2018 tax rate is actually lower than the 2017 rate. The 2018 rate is 0.5898 percent and the 2017 rate is 0.5986 percent.”

Other highlights included a 2.4 percent increase in the 2019 corporate budget, $2 million to IMRF for accelerated payments necessary to meet obligations when longtime employees retire and no use of cash reserve funds to balance the budget.

Walsh also acknowledged the work of the county’s Budget Director ReShawn Howard and Melissa Johansen from the County Board staff who worked cooperatively to put the document together.

The board has 30 days to make any changes, as the county’s fiscal year begins Dec. 1.

“I want to thank all the elected officials, department heads and all of the staff who worked toward this balanced budget,” Walsh said.

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