Will County Approves FY24 Budget
County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant has released a statement following yesterday's vote by the County Board to approve a balanced Fiscal Year 2024 Budget. The budget contains several special allocations for public safety, social services, and essential government services.
“I appreciate that the Board has approved a balanced budget that prioritizes public safety and ensures that county government can meet the needs of residents,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “This budget addresses key public safety challenges, including funding six new public safety positions, raising salaries for prosecutors to help address vacancies, and providing $1.3 million in new investments aimed at reducing recidivism. We’re also investing in impactful social services, such as the Children’s Advocacy Center, our eviction diversion program that deters homelessness, and the Rapid Response Program that is fighting the worsening opioid crisis. I look forward to working with countywide elected officials to get to work in implementing this budget.”
The County Board approved an $815 million budget. The budget includes $272 million for the Corporate Fund, which is used for county operations, and $543.2 million for various Special Funds that are restricted for a specific purpose, such as motor fuel taxes, departmental fees, and Health Department services.
The budget allocates nearly $3 million in public safety and social services, using revenue from the Cannabis Sales Tax and funds from the multi-county opioid settlement. These allocations include the following:
- $450,000 - Housing Stabilization Program – Will County’s eviction diversion program to deter homelessness by working with residents who are summoned to eviction court.
- $180,000 - Workforce Services – Supporting a new re-entry program to connect those who have been through the criminal justice system with stable, long-term employment.
- $345,000 - Funding to support the Children’s Advocacy Center operations.
- $200,000 - Sheriff’s Adult Detention Facility – Expanding mental health services to inmates.
- $750,000 - Problem Solving Courts – Supporting building improvement needs at recovery homes.
- $250,000 - Rapid Response Program – Increased support for the Health Department’s substance abuse program to address the ongoing opioid crisis.
Also included in the budget was over $10 million in capital projects. For the second year, the Will County Executive Office proposed capital projects to be funded using a long-term planning process that ensures the responsible allocation of funds. These projects include $4.5 million to replace the roof of the Adult Detention Facility, $1.3 million to purchase modern tasers for the Sheriff’s Department, $385,000 to modernize the Health Department Community Health Center’s call center, and $150,000 to support local stormwater initiatives to improve water quality and flood mitigation.
Additional funding was also allocated for the County’s Will-Ride Program, which provides paratransit services in Eastern Will County. The $200,000 increased allocation will allow for implementation of short-term goals identified in the Access Will County paratransit study, which aims to improve mobility for seniors and people with disabilities.
The budget also prioritizes the environment, with allocated revenue from the County-owned Prairie View Landfill to fund Will County’s various high-demand recycling and reuse programs. Also included is the first year of revenue from the County’s Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Plant, which repurposes landfill gas to be sold as clean transportation fuel. In its first year, the RNG Plant produced the equivalent of 133,341,000 miles (6,000,345 gallons of gasoline) in clean fuel for large transportation vehicles.
Fiscal Year 2024 begins on December 1, 2023.