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2018 County Budget

The Champaign County Board conducts legislative budget hearings for the annual County budget in September. These sessions, during which each department’s proposed budget is presented, outline any potential changes to cost savings or additional expenses. The County Administrator (in the future, this responsibility will pass over to the County Executive) keeps the total budget within the anticipated County revenues, as the law requires the County budget to remain balanced. Tax caps limit annual increases in the tax levy. These hearings are followed by board discussion, approval of the budget, and setting of the tax levy for County property taxes for the coming year. It’s important to note that there is time for public input at all meetings of the board.

For 2018, several major issues addressed in the budget include: 

  •  how to budget for the nursing home with an expected continuing department deficit,
  •  whether to invest in corrective measures required for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the downtown jail/sheriff’s office facility or to just vacate this building,
  •  how to add the board-established salary for the County Executive, and
  •  whether to address any facility and information technology maintenance/upgrade projects.

My Experience

  • Created and managed $11.5 million budget consisting of 35 grants/contracts with up to 11 fiscal years for Champaign County Regional Planning Commission services
  • Value-engineered project budgets for multi-million-dollar public construction projects
  • Negotiated multi-agency grant redistribution for 4-County Heart of Illinois Continuum of Care
  • Reviewed Illinois March of Dimes grant applications for funding

My Response as County Executive

  1.  Recommend the Board budget the nursing home operations for the entire year, as there will be significant costs for many months whether ultimately keeping or selling this entity.
  2.  Advocate for the Board to support the nursing home as long as it has the ability to cover nursing home deficits. If a sale becomes imminent, advocate for conditions of sale that assure continuity for residents and staff so that the County doesn’t lose this valuable asset.
  3.  Recommend vacating the Sheriff’s Office/downtown jail facility as soon as possible and selling the building (which could also stimulate economic development for downtown Urbana).
  4.  Allocate a portion of the sales tax revenue to pilot programs to reduce jail time and court costs and to build community partnerships. One such idea is to offer persons who owe fines the option of working in a County garden at an hourly rate to pay off their fine. This opportunity would expedite payment of fines by low-income offenders and reduce collection paperwork and costs for the County. The produce can be used by the jail and/or nursing home to save on the costs of purchasing food.

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