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Article updated: 11/13/2012 5:07 PM

McHenry County board to approve budget next week

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The McHenry County Board's finance committee on Tuesday approved a few last-minute adjustments to next year's proposed nearly $255 million county budget before it goes for approval by the board next week.

The finance committee gave its nod to amending the county's appropriations ordinance for fiscal year 2012-13 to include a nearly $300,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health to promote the prevention of obesity and tobacco use, and a $40,000 grant from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation to conduct a comprehensive dental needs assessment in the county, officials said.

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The committee also approved the hiring of a new full-time veterans service officer at the Veterans Assistance Commission at a salary of $29,250, for a total expense of $49,000 including benefits.

The budget also was increased by $2.2 million in road projects that were supposed to take place this year but were delayed, Associate County Administrator for Finance Ralph Sarbaugh said.

That brings the total size of the proposed budget to $254,843,000. All of the increases in expenses approved Tuesday are covered by grant money or fund balances, Sarbaugh said.

Next year's proposed general fund, which accounts for the day-to-day operations of the county, is at $86.7 million in expenses, and $84.9 million in revenues. The difference -- more than $1.7 million -- stems from the county board's decision to pay off bonds early, which in turn will save in future interest payments, Sarbaugh said.

The proposed budget calls for no cost-of-living increase in the property tax levy while giving 2.5-percent raises for union staff and union raises as per contract.

The projected property tax levy forgoes the 3-percent Consumer Price Index increase allowed under the tax cap law, only accounting for new growth in the county. The county represents about 8 percent of the average property tax bill.

The ordinance will be up for approval by the county board on Nov. 20. Fiscal year 2012-13 begins Dec. 1.

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