Budget problems just won’t go away in Kankakee County. Officials are exploring new means of revenue, including a public safety tax and taking another look at county assessed fees.
Two studies have been initiated, one in the sheriff’s department for court services and another departments including the county clerk and recorder.
Finance Chairman Mike LaGuess explained other counties have conducted such studies to review revenues generated, but projected numbers are not available.
The committee also entertained discussion about an increase in its public safety tax.
Sheriff suggests citizens talk to county board members ......
Sheriff Mike Downey said as budget talks continue, citizens need to voice their concerns about public safety. Downey says the decision-makers need to be contacted by those people living in un-incorporated areas who will experience even more diminished police presence.
More budget cuts have been discussed. A proposed FY17 budget would eliminated up to one-third of the sheriff’s deputies.
Downey said “we in law enforcement don’t’ want that and the people don’t deserve that.”
The County Board’s proposed budget for the sheriff’s department patrolling of rural areas is being cut $533,000 to $2.3 million. The sheriff’s department has been hit hard in recent years, losing up to 15 deputies to lay-offs.