Lake County Council to consider borrowing plans Tuesday
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent November 10, 2012 7:04PM
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:36AM
CROWN POINT — Taxpayers will get a chance to weigh in on the county’s plan to borrow $15 million to shore up the 2013 budget during a public hearing Tuesday.
The Lake County Council said in a work session Thursday they will take action on a $5 million note and a $10 million bond at their regular meeting that will give the county the money it needs to cover its expected expenses next year.
“The key thing is to sell them before the end of the year,” said Attorney John Dull. The county will avoid additional costs by getting the information to the state before Dec. 31.
Borrowing the money is one component in a multifaceted plan to get the county’s economic house in order. State-mandated improvements at the jail compounded by the frozen levy have put officials in a position to either cut services or find a new revenue source.
The loans are considered a short-term solution that will buy officials one more year to find a long-term fix for the problem.
Last month officials balanced the budget but in the process took measures including displacing the $2 million cumulative bridge fund and $2.1 million insurance liability fund and eliminating the $1.6 million drainage levy to do so. Plans call for funding the bridge and drainage projects slated for next year with some of the bond money.
Councilmen Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, and Daniel Dernulc, R-Highland, opposed cutting the levies.
Niemeyer on Thursday said while he opposes the council’s plan he will not take any actions against the process that will bring the loan package to a vote before the full council Tuesday but he does not plan to support it then.