The Beacon News

Kendall deficit under $2M and still trimming

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

YORKVILLE -- Kendall County's budget planning continues to be a good news, bad news scenario.

The bad news is the same as it has been -- reduced revenue and late tax payments from the state are conspiring to put the county in a deficit that could be almost $2 million by the end of the 2011 budget year.

But there's also good news -- the projected deficit stands at $1.8 million to $1.9 million -- less than the $2.6 million projected just a few months ago.

The county believes it will receive more in late tax payments than originally projected, as much as $1.4 million to $1.5 million. Just about a month ago, that number was estimated at about $1.2 million or less.

Jeff Wilkins, county administrator, said he was confident enough in the projections to consider that by the end of the budget year in December, the county could get as much as $1.45 million.

Still, other county officials are not so sure. During budget hearings this week, County Board Finance Chairman John Purcell told fellow board members he does not trust the Department of Revenue and its figures.

"I don't feel confident in that money," he said.

Wilkins said there are other reasons to be concerned, besides the question of how much the state will pay.

For instance, the county has made money in the past boarding prisoners from other counties in its jail. But it appears that the budget line item for that will be less this year, and actual practice shows even less money coming in.

Meanwhile, the board Finance and Budget Committee continues to hear from department heads and elected officials, with hearings continuing into September.