Lake County government budget-makers are at least $3.5 million away from their goal of a balanced 2014 budget.
Although the 1.5 percent income tax on county residents and workers will give county officials at least $15 million more dollars in revenue next year, council members say this new money should ensure no further borrowing.
Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, said Wednesday they are close to meeting their goals but will need several days of private discussions to make the final numbers add up without punishing cuts to essential government agencies.
The new income tax revenue can't keep pace with millions of dollars in additional spending demands now placed on the seven-member county council.
That includes finding a permanent source of pay for 30 new Lake County Jail corrections officers, keeping up with the rising cost of health insurance and retirement benefits for all 1,695 full-time county employees and maintaining bridges and drainage ditches, among other new add-ons....
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