Rock Island County leaders are looking for ways to save money as they prepare next year's budget.
County Board Chairman Richard Brunk says the pandemic, shutdown, and restrictions are causing drops in revenue from sales taxes, other taxes, and fees. He says the shortfall amounts to $3.7 million which will make it difficult to provide essential services.
In June, the Rock Island County Board approved the sale of the county's nursing home in East Moline, Hope Creek Care Center.
Brunk hopes the sale to Infinity Health Care for $4 million will be finalized soon, then property taxes should decrease.
Sheriff Gerry Bustos has cut his budget by leaving four positions open. That's two deputies and two correctional officers who will not be hired. Along with a few other cuts, that will save about $635,000. It's already calculated in the $3.7 million deficit.
Brunk says the draft budget will be available at the October board meeting, and members will vote on it in November.
Rock Island County's reserves have fallen to around 3% for the general fund. In a memo, the county administrator told the board that's far below many local governments which have reserves from 25-50%. Jim Snider also said the economic impact of COVID-19 has, "caught us flat-footed with no real alternatives but to cut personnel costs."