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Kane County departments begin presenting proposed 2015 budgets

GENEVA – County departments on Wednesday began telling Kane County Board members how they plan to spend taxpayer money next year.

More departments are expected to share their proposed 2015 budgets during today’s Energy and Environmental Committee meeting and Friday’s Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting.

Wednesday’s presenters included the Kane County Division of Transportation during the Transportation Committee meeting.

KDOT presented an $81.3 million budget, about $700,000 less than for 2014. The budget was developed using several guiding principles, including a focus on public safety, job creation, maintenance and essential public services, Deputy Director of Transportation Tom Rickert said.

KDOT staff said capital projects account for 86 percent of the funds. Seventy-six projects – including bridges, intersections and new roads – are budgeted for 2015, but only five are new, Rickert said, noting most projects take three to five – and even up to 10 – years to complete.

For example, the Anderson Road extension in Elburn is among the highway projects budgeted for 2015.

In an update to the committee, staff shared photos of the progress, specifically of scrapers placing soil in the low areas of the new road. The project is expected to be done by summer or fall 2015 depending on weather.

Other components of KDOT’s budget include a 2 percent increase in salary and wages, a 5 percent increase in employee benefits and an 8 percent increase in commodities because the county’s supply of rock salt was depleted last winter, staff said.

Also Wednesday, the Development Committee considered an intergovernmental agreement with the Kane County Forest Preserve District about funding improvements to the Settler’s Hill Golf Course.

County Board member Mike Donahue, R-Geneva, described the agreement as a formal mechanism that lets the county treasurer transfer money to the district.

He noted the $550,500 was already in the county’s 2014 budget.

Ken Anderson, the county’s environmental and water resource division director, said the funds will go toward turning hole No. 1 into a driving range and the construction of a new hole No. 1.

The agreement stipulates that any grants awarded in connection with the golf course improvements shall be returned to the county for deposit in the landfill fund, Donahue said.

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