After providing $77,000 and $89,000 in reimbursement payments for detention and probation, respectively, the state of Illinois has reduced its backlog of payments to Franklin County to under $1 million.
Treasurer Keith Jones reported at a recent Franklin County Board meeting the total has been reduced to $976,000 after payments were made for November of last year. The state still owes $412,000 in reimbursement payments for detention and $563,000 for probation.
"We received income tax, sales tax, all of our major state sources of funding for this month, so I don't expect any additional revenue coming in this month," Jones said.
Jones said that if the county board had not issued a tax anticipation warrant of $700,000 recently, there would only be about $25,000 in the bank. He previously reported it takes about $100,000 every two weeks to make payroll.
"We've got to understand that when we get that property tax money, we've got to pay that loan off then we're back to ground zero," board member Danny Melvin said.
Jones said he will prepare a budget report in time for the July 3 finance committee meeting to better advise the board on what financial options are available if no further state funds are received.
"I don't know if we haven't received revenue that we should have at this point or if our expenses are up," Jones said. "I expect we'll find something after we examine the budgetary report.
"Our biggest expense is the insurance, and it's $100,000 every other claim period. Sometimes our claims are $230,000, and this month it's $88,000. I can't say with confidence, depending on the next set of claims, how high it's going to be. I can't predict how far our money will go."
State's Attorney Evan Owens recommended the board complete a weekly financial report to determine if money is available to pay probation and detention center personnel.
"If you don't have the money in there, you should cut probation and detention and say, 'We're not going to do it anymore,'" Owens said. "And I wouldn't split them up. Let somebody else make the decision about what to do about it."
Owens added that the state has a statuatory obligation to make reimbursement payments for those programs. Owens said there are 50 counties handle probation and detention programs.
"They (state officials) said they've put us on the top of their list (to be paid) because of our situation and because we filed suit. We've gotten some payments since we took the action we did. But they're going to break local governments. That's what's going to happen," he said.
In personnel matters, the board hired two part-time employees for the treasurer's office, two part-time employees for the state's attorney's office and one part-time, temporary employee for the animal control facility.
Keith Ward and Robert Walton were re-appointed to the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board; and Jim Johnson of West Frankfort was appointed to the Franklin Hospital Board, replacing Debbie Ricci, who resigned.