The county health board,
represented by its president, Mike Rohrer, requested the county to
postpone accepting the budget and try to reinstate some funding for
them. But Dale Voyles, county board chairman, said that there were
no funds to levy for the health department.
Cuts in funds began last year. This
year they include the health department and tuberculosis sanitarium.
This became necessary because we are under tax caps that have not
kept up with escalating costs of living, which is set at 1.9 percent
increase per year, Voyles said. One major factor in Logan County has
been the insurance and law enforcement costs. They have far exceeded
this allowance for several years. Insurance went up 33 percent and
54 percent the last two years. Reserves in other funds were
transferred to cover these increases, but the reserves are now
The county is looking for ways to
help reduce some of the cost in law enforcement. The county jail is
not designed to house juveniles. Out-of-jurisdiction housing and
transportation are expensive. An alternative site in the McLean
County Juvenile Detention Center is being looked at.
A drop in revenues received through
the state and losses in property taxes have also led to the current
crunch. About $225,000 in late property taxes is not in yet. This
year's budget is coming in shorter also due to overestimating
circuit clerk fees.
While state funds, county fees and
other revenues are variable from one year to the next, estimates
indicate a scant $200,000 may be left on the books at next fiscal
This figure made it difficult for
the board members to approve the budget, as it will create temporary
shortages next year even if it comes in at the anticipated amount.
There is always a certain amount greater than $200,000 lagging
In addition, it was debated what to
do if revenue is coming up short. It was questioned whether the
board might amend the budget down during the year. Rather, Voyles
discussed selling bonds to cover expenses.
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The budget passed 7-5 with the seven
yeses that were cast by Dale Voyles, David Hepler, Vicki Hasprey,
Bob Farmer, Chuck Ruben, Bill Sahs and Terry Werth. Voting no were
John Stewart, Paul Gleason, Dick Logan, Gloria Luster and Patrick
budget includes the following levied funds:
- General fund, $1,101,600
- Ambulance, $0
- Liability insurance, $494,126
- Tuberculosis sanitarium, $1
- Illinois Municipal Retirement
- Logan County Health Department,
- Logan County Highway Department,
- County bridge, $0
- Highway matching tax, $0
- Cooperative Extension Service,
- Senior citizens tax fund, $80,000
Total levy: $2,736,696
Funds levied as $0 were uncontested.
Funds levied as $1 were contested.
It was explained during the meeting
that the levies for senior citizens and Cooperative Extension funds
are regulated beyond county control. The operation of the county
expenses, which includes the general fund, IMRF and insurance
payment, must come first, and the county expenses are at the maximum
allowed under the current tax caps, set at 27 cents.
There was not sufficient funding to
levy for the health department and tuberculosis sanitarium. It was
suggested that those departments will need to draw from their
reserves to fund their budgets for this year. It is anticipated that
this will be done for only one or two years.
A letter assuring funds in the case
of a large-scale, expensive emergency was approved for the health
department. Bonds will be sold if the need should arise.