ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – Over the last several weeks, Rock Island County members have been working on a budget plan for FY2017. This comes after a half-cent sales tax increase on the ballot failed earlier this month.
The board approved a budget plan Tuesday night, that will cut nearly $1.5 million from personnel, capital projects and maintenance in 14 departments throughout the county.
For the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office, $710,000 will be eliminated from their budget. Sheriff Gerry Bustos has told KWQC from the beginning, cuts would not come from his staff and Tuesday night, he said that still stands.
In addition to cutting from their capital improvement projects and repairs, four open positions with the sheriff’s department will not be filled.
“My feeling is some apprehension, you know we do a lot of things in the sheriff’s office and we provide public service to everybody in the county, my concern is that I’m going to continue to be able to maintain the level of service that our citizens deserve,” Bustos said Tuesday night.
Now, after weeks of budget meetings and discussions, Tuesday night’s vote was less than ideal for some board members, but they say it’s what has to be done.=
“The situation we’re in, the referendum failed, this is where we’re at, we need to do what we need to do, to stabilize at least for the short-term,” Richard Brunk, Budget and Finance Chair for the Rock Island County Board, said Tuesday night. “It’s going to be tight, there’s going to be sacrifice and it’s going to be difficult.”
Elected officials throughout the county will meet every three months to evaluate the budget throughout 2017.
Brunk says this budget will get them through FY2017, but by this time next year, he doesn’t believe this type of budget plan will be an option.