Winnebago County Board Members Discuss Budget Before Upcoming Vote

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Winnebago County Board Members met Thursday and brainstormed ways to tackle the budget deficit.

But, it didn’t go very well.

A couple of amendments got a lot of discussion tonight, but in the end, nothing went through.

None of the county board members want to gut public safety.

But, some say there might not be a way around it.

One idea the board floated was a property tax, but that was a deal breaker for many members.

Board member Bert Gerl proposed a plan that would’ve only cut about $2.5 million dollars from the sheriff’s department.

But, that meant pulling $3 million out of the county’s reserve fund-another idea that the board couldn’t get behind.

However, Gerl says the public’s safety shouldn’t come down to dollars and cents.

“I think I want to live with public safety, a credit rating, we can work on that in the future. But to bring back victims is impossible, to bring back people that have been killed is impossible,” said Winnebago County Board Member Burt Gerl. “We bring back credit ratings, we can work on restoring our reserve levels, but we cannot replace lives or the fear that people have right now.”

The county board is expected to vote on the budget next week.

The new budget cycle begins October 1st.

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