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Task force OKs plan to pay for court software

GENEVA – A Kane County task force has approved sources of income to fund the cost of updating computer software in the county’s court system, negating the need to borrow money.

Members of the Kane County Judicial and Public Safety Technology Commission on Thursday approved a plan presented by the county’s chief financial officer, Joe Onzick, to pay for the project, which is anticipated to free up about $6 million from existing sources of tax revenue.

The money will pay for a new electronic case management system, which officials have said needs to be upgraded because it is out of date and dysfunctional.

The matter will next appear before the County Board Finance Committee, which meets July 31, and will likely appear before the full County Board in August.

The task force initially planned to borrow the $6 million by issuing bonds over 10 years, but using money from a public safety sales tax eliminates the need to borrow through bonds.

The total cost to implement the software from 2013 through 2018 is estimated to total about $8.9 million, according to meeting documents.

After 2019, ongoing maintenance is expected to cost a little more than $1 million, which would be paid through the Judicial Technology Fund.

Onzick said funds would come through three primary sources: the county’s judicial technology sales tax fund, the public safety sales tax fund and the transit sales tax contingency fund.

The Kane County Board has committed about $800,000 a year from the public safety sales tax to the project, and has transferred $1.45 million from that sales tax fund to the project this year.

Onzick found a little-used contingency fund with a current balance of about $2.1 million and an annual input of about $450,000.

“[Onzick] came back with what I think is a very good plan of internally funding this, so that rather than using up some of our credit capacity, borrowing capacity, we worked it out of our current resources without borrowing,” said task force member Chris Lauzen.

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