The Winnebago county board members are confident they can pass a balanced budget to make the greatest use of public money even if the 2023 budget proposal is still in its early stages.
In order to balance the budget this year, the board will need to take into account a number of factors, according to Dave Rickert, chief financial officer of Winnebago County, including the American Rescue Plan Act and inflation costs as the county continues to recover from the epidemic.
Winnebago County’s initial 2023 budget shows a more than $6 million general fund deficit and a more than $5 million public safety sales tax fund surplus, leaving them with a deficit of less than $1 million. However, elements like the property replacement tax can reduce that difference.
Aldermen Jaime Salgado adds, “Those revenues are surprisingly larger than what we expected coming out of it.”
As a result of a referendum that was approved by voters in June, the county intends to award cash for a number of projects, including River Bluff Nursing Home.
According to Rickert, “the community has spoken quite forcefully and shown their support for making sure that River Bluff is sufficiently maintained and cared for in the future.”
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department is about to undergo yet another significant overhaul. In addition to $12 million from the American Rescue Plan, the county intends to spend close to $18,000 to upgrade the department’s video system.
Salgado hopes that it will be somewhat proactive, deter people from really taking action, and assist law enforcement in apprehending the offenders.
Although it’s too soon to know exactly how much the new budget will cost taxpayers, according to Rickert, it shouldn’t be a major burden.
The board will make sure that the taxpayers’ money is used effectively as we pass a balanced budget.
At its meeting on Thursday, August 18, the county finance committee will continue to debate the budget for the coming year.
The preliminary drawings, according to Rickert, are accessible to the public at the Winnebago County administrative building and on the county’s website.