BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Vermilion County Board members will vote Tuesday on a county budget for the new fiscal year.
It will be the last meeting of the current board, which will see several new members as a result of the elections when it meets for reorganization in December.
The budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year has been on public display at the county clerk’s office since the board’s October board meeting. Statutes dictate that the public get the chance to look over the budget prior to its approval.
Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon said there will be no changes or adjustments to budget figures when it goes before the board on Tuesday.
Once approved, the upcoming fiscal year will be the sixth consecutive one in which the county has not asked for a tax increase from residents. Proposed budget figures indicate a slight decrease in levy totals from $11,589,132 for the current 2011-12 fiscal year to $11,581,810 in the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year. The difference is just more than $7,300. Overall budget numbers this year show an estimated overall revenue total of $42.02 million for the fiscal year, about $5 million under the $47.81 million estimated for revenues.
Two board members — District 2’s Mike Marron and District 6’s Craig Chambers — voted against releasing the budget to the public at the October meeting. Marron noted the current deficit in the proposed budget figures, expressing concern about the figure. County offices and departments have returned unspent funds in past years that have helped the county to offset the deficit.
McMahon said he has not been contacted by either local city and county residents or board members regarding concerns with the budget this year.
Despite no tax increase, there are some weak spots among the budget’s figures, beginning with the county-owned nursing home, which is expected to be a $1.2 million loss during the upcoming fiscal year.
Under rules, the county must have a budget passed before the beginning of the next fiscal year — Dec. 1.