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The County Board will hold budget hearings on Oct. 18 (starting at 9 a.m.) and Oct. 19 (starting at 8:30 a.m.). These meetings will be televised live on lakecounty.tv. The proposed budget is balanced, and the operating budget reflects an increase of less than one percent from last year. The county board is committed to fiscal responsibility and making decisions that protect the long-term fiscal health of the County. The uncertainty of the State budget and potential State funding cuts continue to place significant pressure on our budget. In response, departments cut their budgets by 2% through restructuring and other efficiency measures. There are 11 fewer employees than last year, and there are 100 fewer employees than five years ago. These reductions have been made without adversely impacting service levels.