The Washington County Board passed its fiscal year 2019 budget during its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 13.
The budget includes funds to provide $1 million in renovations and remodeling to the Washington County Jail. The amount budgeted for new construction is $300,000.
“That’s the big difference between this year’s budget and last year’s,” said Gary Malawy of Krehbiel and Associates, who presented the proposal to the board.
The county’s fiscal year begins Dec. 1.
Malawy discussed the abatement through Prairie State coal site and the revenue the county could continue to see in the future.
“I don’t foresee that figure getting much larger,” said board chairman David Meyer. “Based on the numbers that we had received last year, they are running at their max.”
Malawy said the number has been placed in reserve by county board agreement years ago to be used for infrastructure and road improvement.
Councilman Paul Todd questioned how much had been borrowed from the county had previously borrowed from the Prairie State fund to the general fund. Malawy said he did not have exact figures but estimated the amount to be “in excess of $2 million” that has yet to be repaid.
“We have talked to the finance committee and discussed that there are ways to be less dependent,” Malawy said. “And one of those ways is that years ago, the general fund was at maximum rate. It can be allocated to the general fund. It is no longer at maximum rate.”