Budget Priorities

2016 Budget Priorities
Our fiscal priorities align with the values, goals and strategies outlined in our strategic plan. The strategic plan informs and guides decisions during the budget process and throughout the year. The County also tracks and analyzes performance metrics and uses the data to drive decision-making.

Examples of ongoing initiatives, as well as funding allocations in our budget, are outlined below.

Fiscal Responsibility
The County continues to make data-driven decisions based on long-term impacts. Lake County has a balanced budget, strong reserves, and AAA financial rating. The County continues to take steps to enhance transparency through its robust communications program, including an online budget portal, e-newsletters, and LCTV video programming.

Leadership - Regional Collaboration
Advancing the IL Route 53/Route 120 project is a priority for Lake County as it provides the opportunity to improve our transportation system and relieve congestion, as well as provide tremendous economic development benefits. Additionally, the proposed plan calls for environmental enhancements including protection and restoration of open lands, innovative and effective stormwater management, and improved connections for bicyclists and pedestrians along the corridor. Lake County and other corridor communities are asking the Tollway Board to approve funding for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that would look at the project in extensive detail, and analyze alternatives and the potential environmental impacts.

Regional 911 Consolidation
Lake County is leading an effort in collaboration with public safety partners from across the county to explore opportunities to consolidate many 911 centers into a few regional 911 centers to improve quality, efficiency, and provide cost savings. In 2015, the Board created a 911 Emergency Dispatch Task Force made up of fire, police, and municipal leaders to advance this government consolidation initiative.

Exceptional Service - Cost-effective, Efficient, High Quality Services
We consistently focus on delivering services in the most cost-effective way, which means regularly reviewing how departments are operating and making improvements.

Lake County continues to collaborate with other units of government to operate more efficiently through shared service opportunities that generate greater economies of scale and reduce costs. The Planning, Building and Development (PBD) department contracts with a number of municipalities for inspection services, and this year, PBD expects to increase municipal contracts and will absorb the increased workload within flexible positions already funded in the budget.

Shared Services
  • 8 partnerships with other governments for inspection services
  • 7 contracts for police services
  • 48 governments on rock salt bid
Round Elevator
Round 911
Round Plow
Environmental Stewardship
Lake County continues to promote and encourage environmental sustainability through operational and community-wide initiatives. The budget continues to support funding toward enhancing energy efficiency in our facility projects to decrease energy consumption and save money. The County is also exploring renewable energy benefits with the possible purchase of multiple solar panels at a Public Works maintenance facility.

Strategic Plan Goals
Green Cone
Improve Transportation
Investing in our transportation system remains a high priority, which includes widening projects that add capacity, intersection improvements, and pedestrian/bike path projects, as well as technology enhancements. The budget includes additional funding for a full-time maintenance worker to accommodate an additional snow plow route, as well as a temporary employee during the winter months.
Blue Cogs
Enhance Economic Opportunities
Through its Buy Local. Build Local. Work Local. program, the County is boosting awareness about procurement opportunities among local and women-owned and minority businesses. The County is also augmenting the way it tracks demographic information about its contracted workforce, which is important for reporting purposes. For example, the Purchasing and Construction Divisions are now tracking workforce demographic information for both the Job Order Contracting program and the Courthouse Expansion Project.

Lake County Partners (LCP), our public-private partnership for economic development, continues to deliver a multitude of resources to optimize Lake County’s business climate thanks to the financial support of the County Board. For example, through its strategic partnership with the Workforce Development Department, LCP is meeting with local target businesses to identify company needs and challenges to growth. As a result of its new business visitation program, LCP is connecting companies with resources to help fill current positions, using grants to help train current employees and building pipelines for future hires.
Green Medical
Build Healthy & Resilient Communities
Studies show there is a strong correlation between mental health issues and other health challenges, such as obesity and smoking. In response to this, the Health Department will implement new programs this year targeting those with mental health issues and smoking or weight issues. By combining these treatments, the County is able to generate fees to cover these expanded services.
Blue Law

Provide Public Safety

The County Board continues to invest in our public safety infrastructure with the Depke Juvenile Justice Center expansion project that includes a new multi-story addition with new courtroom/hearing rooms, administrative court support functions and office spaces for the related justice agencies. Additionally, the FY16 budget leverages federal grant funding to enhance police services and public transparency with the purchase of body cameras for sworn members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office who interact with the public on a daily basis. The County is also investing in additional cameras in the jail.

The budget also continues to provide funding to the Lake County Opiate Task Force. Grant funding is also being leveraged to pay for Naloxone - a drug that is used to reverse an opioid overdose and save lives, and training provided by the health department.
Green Recycling
Promote a Sustainable Environment
In an effort to promote cost-effective clean energy, the County purchased several electrical vehicles as part of a pilot program and installed electrical charging stations. Starting this year, the County will allow visitors to use the charging stations at no cost.

In the area of water quality, Lake County will add enhanced biological nutrient removal (EBNR) technology at the Des Plaines River Water Reclamation Facility this year. This new technology will enhance the health of streams and rivers in Lake County.