Posted Online: Sept. 04, 2013, 9:08 pm
RI County seeks $1.6 million in savings
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By Eric Timmons, email@example.com
ROCK ISLAND -- The Rock Island County Board's budget committee must find $1.6 million in savings to close a shortfall in its proposed budget for next year.
The committee, which has been working through spending requests from county departments, will meet again today to listen to proposals from the sheriff's department, the most expensive in the county's general fund.
The budget committee is predicting the general fund will have revenue of $25.1 million for the next budget year and expenses of $26.7 million.
Proposals are being considered to reduce spending to balance the budget, which will then be presented for approval to the full county board later this year.
Budget committee chairman Don Jacobs, D-East Moline, said spending already was down to the "bare bones." The county has little room tomaneuver because its general fund property tax rate is capped and already is at the maximum, he added.
Mr. Jacobs said his committee has proposed eliminating a maintenance position and a job in the county's copy center through attrition to save money.
Other proposed cutbacks across county departments include equipment purchases and training stipends for staff.
On Wednesday, the budget committee went through the county clerk, public works and recorder budgets and recommended reduced spending.
Outside the county's general fund, the county also looked at Hope Creek Center's spending plan for next year.Trudy Whittington, the nursing home's administrator, recommended raising rates for private pay residents by $12 in the next budget year.
The increase would help steady the nursing home's finances, which have been hit by cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid funding. A decision on the increases has yet to be made.
Hope Creek's proposed budget for next year would see spending of about $18.5 million against revenue of $18.9 million, although staff overtime costs have yet to be estimated.
The budget committee agreed to recommend writing off $481,000 that had been loaned from the general fund to Hope Creek, said Rock Island County Board Chairman Phil Banaszek.