The proposed Livingston County budget was presented this week, and it prompted some lively discussion at a meeting of the county board. Board member Mike Ingles challenged Financial Committee chair Carl Borngasser on the subject of fees for emergency dispatching services in the county. The proposed budget contains increased costs that Ingles says smaller municipalities can't afford unless they're given a complete budget cycle to allow for the increase. Borngasser says the proposal doesn't impose any increases on agencies--it's just a starting point for negotiating agreements throughout the county. The financial committee will meet in early November to work out the details and complete a budget that will face a vote later in the month. A complete schedule of committee meetings and locations is available at Livingstoncountyil.gov.
In other business, the board appropriated money for mental health services in the county, and discussed a new policy that will ensure the board's compliance with the open meetings act. That new policy settled a lawsuit that was filed against the county about six years ago, when county residents were turned away from a landfill hearing because of a lack of space in the meeting room selected. Under the new policy, the board chair will have discretion to find a suitable location for large crowds, or reschedule any meeting where the public can't be accommodated.
Board members also learned that the old courthouse renovations are nearly complete and that public tours should be taking place in mid-November. County offices should be completely moved into the building by mid-January.
By: Todd Wineburner