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Local

Kane County works to reduce $2M budget gap

GENEVA – With Kane County needing to close a $2 million gap in next year's proposed general fund, Executive Finance Director Joe Onzick expects to see changes this month as various departments and offices re-evaluate their initial requests.

"We hope there will be significant progress made in the month of August," Onzick told the Executive Committee on Wednesday.

Every county department and office has been asked to review their budget proposals and should look for ways to obtain efficiencies and reduce or postpone spending, he said. He noted requests for additional personnel should be justified.

Several officials – including the sheriff, public defender and auditor – have budgeted for additional staff.

Other unforeseen costs contributing to the $2 million potential shortfall include utilities increases and increases in payroll and benefits for existing staff, Onzick said.

County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said the Executive Committee – which comprises the chairmen of the board's standing committees – is a group the county turns to for guidance.

He said he knows it can be difficult as committee chairmen to say no to requests.

"I understand how hard it is," Lauzen said, calling it the "cost of leadership."

The 2015 budget review is set to continue Friday when the Judicial and Public Safety Committee meets. The coroner, public defender, circuit clerk, state's attorney, chief judge and sheriff are among the officials who report to that committee.

Approval of the budget is planned for November, Onzick said.

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