River Bluff could make gains in proposed 2023 budget

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Winnebago county budget proposal for 2023 is in its early stages, though board members are optimistic they can pass a balanced budget to make the best use of taxpayers’ money.

Winnebago County Chief Financial Officer Dave Rickert says there are several things for the board to consider this year to balance the budget including the American Rescue Plan Act and inflation costs as the county continues to pull out of the pandemic.

In the initial stages of the 2023 budget, Winnebago County sees a more than $6 million deficit from the General Fund and a more than $5 million surplus from the Public Safety Sales Tax fund leaving them with less than a million dollars deficit. Factors like the property replacement tax can narrow that margin.

“Those revenues are surprisingly higher than what we expected coming out of that,” says Aldermen Jaime Salgado.

The county plans to allocate funds for several areas including River Bluff Nursing Home thanks to a referendum passed by voters on the June ballot.

“The community has spoken very abruptly and their support for ensuring that river bluff is adequately funded and provided for in the future,” says Rickert.

Another big chunk of change is headed to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. The county plans to spend nearly $18,000 to go along with $12 million from the American Rescue Plan to improve the department’s camera system.

“Hopefully, it’s kind of pre-active and hopefully to prevent someone from actually doing something about it and helps out the police officers to get those perpetrators,” says Salgado.

It’s too early to determine how much exactly the new budget will cost taxpayers but Rickert says it shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

“We’re going to pass a balanced budget and the board will ensure that we use the taxpayer dollars efficiently in doing so.”

The county’s finance committee will further discuss next year’s budget at their meeting Thursday august 18th.

Rickert says the initial plans are available to the public on the Winnebago County website and at the Winnebago county administration building.

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