Winnebago County Budget

By: Max Seigle
By: Max Seigle

It took about two hours for the county board to hash through this budget...and at times...many board members lost track of what was on the table. But the end result was $173 million county budget....carrying a deficit of about $1.6 million. The budget includes money to improve safety at some of the county's higher accident-prone Springfield Road and Auburn street. The new justice center will get some help easing overcrowding, with a new program that gives inmates with misdemeanors a classroom for education and job training instead of a jail cell. One point of contention Thursday night was not having enough programs that prevent people from getting in trouble in the first place. "We need to address that. We need to keep people out of jail and our budget neets to reflect that value, keeping people out of jail," said Board Member Paul Gorski. Other board members shared those concerns...Some of them with tears as they voiced their opinions. As far as the property tax impact, the budget includes a 7 percent increase in that revenue to the county. But because county properties were recently re-assessed, board members weren't able to give us a clear estimate of what homeowners would pay.

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