MARION — Williamson County Board approved a tentative budget for 2017-2018 during a special meeting Friday in the Williamson Administrative Building board room.
County Board Chairman Ron Ellis stressed that the budget was tentative. Williamson County elected officials will have until Nov. 8 to review the budget and suggest changes. The board will then make any necessary changes before voting to pass the final version of the budget.
Commissioner Brent Gentry made a motion to accept the tentative budget. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jim Marlo. The motion passed unanimously.
Ellis said the budgeting process has been long and difficult. The State of Illinois went without a budget, then passed an imbalanced budget. The state has handed down additional mandates to the county that are not funded.
“It was brutal,” Gentry said. “This is the most difficult in my 13 years on the board.”
“It was definitely challenging,” Marlo added.
“The state passed an imbalanced budget and is trying to balance it on the backs of counties and municipalities,” Ellis said. “We can’t spend more than we take in.”
The commissioners said the county may be forced to raise taxes if the state continues its practices.
The board’s next meeting will be at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 8.