Lake County Council won’t pay for correctional officers mandated by U.S. Justice Department
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 11, 2013 5:34PM
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:52AM
CROWN POINT — The Lake County Jail will not get 35 additional correctional officers mandated by the Department of Justice after the County Council began cutting big-dollar items from the 2014 budget in an effort to fill a $7.5 million gap.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich also will not get an additional $300,000 in overtime requested for 2014.
In a budget workshop Wednesday, the Lake County Council approved dropping the 35 additional correctional officers from the 2014 budget, as well as the overtime request, to save the county about $2.2 million next year.
Officials also decided to change how they planned to fund the reinstatement of both the drainage and bridge funds. Both items, $2 million for bridge and $1.3 million for drainage, will be moved from the new county economic development tax fund into what remains of the 2013 borrowing fund. The last of the borrowing fund also will pay for the debt service on the $15 million borrowed in 2013.
Criminal courts also will not get 13 new employees requested. Removing the 13 probation officers trimmed almost $740,000 from the budget.
As for finding the other $3.5 million that remains to be cut, council members would like another couple days to sharpen their pencils and figure it out.
“We need $3 million and I don’t know where to get it,” Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, said.
The council will host its next budget workshop at 10 a.m. Monday in the commissioners’ courtroom.