Dear Lake County Neighbors,
With one year under my belt as Lake County Board Chairman, I wanted to report to you on the County Board’s progress over the past year.
I believe the number one way we can grow our local economy is to invest in our roads and infrastructure. If we can’t move people to and from work or goods to and from market in an efficient manner, we don’t have the foundation for a thriving economy. In order to work toward this goal, the Lake County Board is investing $570 million over the next five years to improve our regional transportation system. More than half of that is for projects that expand and add capacity to County highways. We will complete 11 expansion projects – about 12 miles - over the next 5 years, 22 intersection improvements, and 66 pavement resurfacing and reconstruction projects. DOT resurfaces an average of 11 miles of County highways every year. Learn more about our transportation program.
In addition to improving county roads, we are steadfast in our commitment to advancing the Route 53 Extension Project. This project is critical not only for addressing traffic congestion in Lake County, but also for economic growth.
While federal and state governments maintain a “borrow and spend” philosophy, Lake County is committed to fiscal responsibility. The 2014 budget is balanced and is $10 million less than five years ago due to reduced headcount and other money saving strategies, including operating more efficiently. Lake County measures its performance across departments to explore ways to be more efficient. To learn more about our budget and watch a video on our budget story, visit our Budget web portal.
Lake County continues to maintain AAA bond rating from both rating agencies – the highest possible credit rating. In fact, we are only of only about 40 counties out of 3,000 counties in the country that have a AAA rating from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. The AAA rating is based on several strengths, including strong budgetary performance, well-managed financial operations with strong financial policies and practices, healthy reserves and manageable debt. This allows us to invest in necessary capital projects while keeping our debt service extremely low – about 1% of our overall budget.
We are also committed to transparency. Our website ranks among the most transparent government websites in America according to “Sunshine Review.” We also broadcast our board meetings on LCTV, post them to this website, along with other videos about county services, send out regular e-newsletters, and more! Check out our Transparency/OpenGov web page.
It’s a pleasure serving as your county board chairman. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Lake County Board Chairman