Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget addressed
The Union County Board of Commissioners has begun the many hours of work which go into drafting a budget for the county’s new fiscal year.
The budget was a focus of extensive discussion at a regular meeting of the county board which was held Friday morning, Oct. 12. The meeting was at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
Many county officeholders and department heads were on hand for the meeting.
The county’s new fiscal year begins on Dec. 1 and continues through Nov. 30, 2019.
Before talks turned to work on a new budget, several other matters of business were conducted.
Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel shared an update with the commissioners about the awarding of a recent federal school safety grant.
In early October, Union County schools learned that they had been awarded a $357,375 federal grant to improve their security.
The grant was awarded through the School Violence Prevention Program, a Department of Justice, DOJ, program.
Union County was one of only 60 entities nationwide, and seven in the State of Illinois, to receive the grant funds.
The sheriff led efforts to secure the grant funds for the county’s schools. He noted that the Southern Five Regional Planning District had played a key role in the successful grant application process.
After hearing a presentation by Paula Stairs from the Shawnee Development Council’s Union County office, the commissioners approved allocation of $5,000 to help support a food pantry program for local senior citizens. The money is being allocated from a county senior fund.
Union County Highway Department engineer Kevin Grammer reported that oil and chipping maintenance work was being completed. He noted that freezing/thawing cycles which occurred last winter had a major impact on county roads.
The county engineer also reported that mowing work was continuing.
The commissioners approved the appointments of Norman Bauer and Chris Boyd to posts on the University of Illinois Extension Board.
Following those items of business, commissioners and other county officials turned to discussion about the new budget, with the focus on general fund revenues.
A line-by-line review of revenues was presented by county administrator Angie Johnson.
The commissioners, officeholders and department heads shared input regarding revenues for the current fiscal year, as well as possible projections for the remainder of FY 2017-2018 and outlooks for FY 2018-2019.
Several commissioners noted that county officials need to focus on taking a realistic look at revenue in order to prevent possible problems in the future.
The major source of revenue for the county is property taxes. As of last Friday’s review of revenues, $669,000 had been collected.
The second of two property tax installment payments is due on Nov. 5. Property taxes are expected to generate a total of $1.15 million for the county.
Numbers presented at Friday’s county board meeting showed revenues of $4,856,010 for 2016 and $4,793,184 for 2017.
Total revenues for the year-to-date stood at $3,235,872. Revenues are projected to total $4,589,280.13 by the end of the current fiscal year.
Friday’s county board meeting was continued until 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, so budget talks could continue. Discussion was expected to start focusing on expenses at the continued meeting.