Kane County sees positive 2013 finances

GENEVA – Since joining the Kane County Board in 2008, member Drew Frasz said he hasn’t been accustomed to receiving positive financial reports regarding the county.

So when Executive Finance Director Joe Onzick told the Finance/Budget Committee on Wednesday that fiscal 2013 ended with about $6.7 million more revenue than budgeted and spent about $2.1 million less than planned, Frasz had this reaction.

“I’m not used to seeing good news,” said Frasz, R-Elburn.

Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the unaudited numbers.

“It’s a really good report,” he said.

Onzick said much of the overage in revenue was because of economically sensitive areas, including income tax revenue (about $2.7 million more than budgeted), sales tax revenue (about $1.4 million than budgeted) and building inspections and permit fees (about $261,000 more than budgeted).

As for expenses, Onzick said, most departments within the general fund came under budget. Exceptions included the sheriff’s office by $166,891 – the expense of adult board and care was recorded there yet the budget was not – and the coroner’s office. It was over budget by $19,632 because of payroll accrual and greater salary and autopsy expenses than expected.

Lauzen singled out the coroner’s office, noting Coroner Rob Russell spent about 20 percent more than his predecessor, the late Chuck West. When the committee later reviewed the budget adjustment to account for repairs to the morgue freezer, Lauzen encouraged the use of safeguards on equipment, such as technology that would send an email in the event of a failure.

For 2014, Onzick said the county is able to reduce the budgeted health insurance costs by nearly 10 percent for a cost savings of about $1.2 million.

Savings also were realized in the reorganization of the development, facilities and environmental management departments, Onzick said. Savings amount to 3 percent compared to the former salary structure and 7 percent compared to what originally was budgeted, he said.