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Kane County animal control 2014 budget nixes billing manager job

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 19, 2013 7:11 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The man credited by Kane County officials with restoring the fortunes of the county’s troubled Animal Control Department likely will not continue in his current job after the county hires a new animal control director later this year.

The Kane County Health Department, which oversees animal control operations, has presented the Kane County Board with its budget proposal for 2014.

For Animal Control, that budget proposal includes $75,000 a year to pay an administrator for animal control.

But the budget does not set aside any money to pay a billing manager in that department.

“Revenues would have to increase to accommodate that,” said Barbara Jeffers, director of the Kane County Health Department. “Based on our current projections, we’re not seeing that will be the case.”

Earlier this year, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen hired Robert Sauceda of South Elgin to serve as Animal Control’s billing manager.

The move came in response to sagging revenues within the department, which Lauzen and Jeffers believed to be the result of a lack of emphasis on the collection of various fees.

Lauzen had initially floated Sauceda’s name to the board to serve as Animal Control administrator. But several County Board members balked.

Lauzen, however, believing he had no time to waste, appointed Sauceda as billing manager, a position for which he did not secure County Board approval. 

He said the rapid move was needed to ensure Animal Control would collect enough revenue on its own to prevent the need for the county government to pay an annual loan payment on the Animal Control facility later this year, as it was forced to last year.

In the months since the appointment, Animal Control has increased its revenue from collections significantly. Last month, for example, Animal Control collected more than $75,000.

In June 2012, the department brought in about $64,000.

Lauzen has said the department needs to bring in around $72,000 a month to be self-sufficient.

Next year, the department is scheduled to collect $864,000, compared to the $850,000 total forecasted this year. 

Jeffers said she expects to hire an administrator this fall, who would assume oversight of the collection efforts.

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