Ken Koehler Gives State of the County Address

Ken Koehler

Each year McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler takes a look at what happened the year before and gives a report to the County Board. (You can read the whole speech here.)

Highlights include that

  • this year’s budget is about $6.9 million less than last years; painful layoffs were avoided
  • achieved Triple A rating, one of only three counties in the State
  • Auditor Pam Palmer received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (12th straight year) from the Government Finance Officers Association
  • $2.5 million in energy efficiency improvements financed by the Feder government were noted
  • in the third year of 3-D geological mapping by the Illinois State Geological Survey
  • in second year of the Groundwater Flow Modeling by the Illinois State Water Survey
  • McHenry County Jail

    begun development of a Unified Development Ordinance

  • the McHenry County 2030 Plan won the 2010 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan that advances the Science and Art of Planning through the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association Award
  • received approval from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for our Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, which makes municipalities and townships eligible for mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Lake-McHenry Veteran’s and Family Strategic Initiative received a a $3.67 million grant over 5 years that will serve veterans and their families exhibiting signs of mental health issues
  • McHenry County Underage Drinking Task Force was initiated
  • McHenry County Sheriff’s Office received accreditation through the American Correctional Association for the Adult Correctional Facility (DuPage, Lake and Will are the only other so recognized Illinois counties)
  • McHenry County Jail bed rental program averaged over 300 bed rentals per day in 2010 and brought in about $10,000,000 in revenue
  • Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. or “CALEA” concluded their on-site assessment of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
  • County has taken a number of steps to engage the public in accessibility through the internet. The County has utilized the platform of social media, its e-Newsletter, and an improved County website
  • will complete codification of all ordinances and resolutions this year which will be available on-line and in book form
  • first county in Illinois to adopt a Statement of Economic Interest Addendum requiring County officials and office seekers to list economic interest they have in the County and with other local governments in McHenry County
  • Wonder Lake water skier.

    first Illinois County to develop a program utilizing the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act to provide tax exempt bonding authority to public and private entities, $18 million in tax exempt bonding authority to Cary, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Fox River Grove, McHenry Public Library, and the Mental Health Board for needed infrastructure improvements and under the Recovery Zone Facility Bond Program provided tax exempt bonding authority to Sage Products for manufacturing expansion and the Village of Wonder Lake for needed lake improvements

    From a presentation by Sony.

  • in collaboration with the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, over 2,000 received help–from financing assistance to employee issues to zoning and permitting expertise
  • most important issue for our County’s future economic development is insuring the availability of superior broadband service
  • committed to a public/private model of our economic development corporation
  • Rakow road will be widened during the next two years.

    this year will complete a new Archives Storage Building and likely raze the old Valley Hi facility, plus complete the construction of courtroom 104 and welcome two new judges

  • ground breaking ceremony for 2-year $26.5 million Rakow Road expansion next Monday—Congressman Don Manzullo was cited for special recognition
  • acknowledged concerns about Alden Road and Fleming Road improvements, committed to continue exploring different methods of communicating the need to improve these roadways, communicating in an open environment that balances resident concerns, the motoring public, and current road construction standards
  • pledged more transparency, including reevaluating the web streaming of Board meetings
  • seeking a commitment from the Board to move ahead with the Water Resources Action Plan in 2011
  • believes Valley Hi is on the right track with its operating board
  • promises an open and thoughtful, equitable and bipartisan redistricting process
  • will thoughtfully review wage increases and committed to treating union and non-union employees equitably

“We must all come together to creatively guide this organization through this challenging time. McHenry County will continue its commitment to conservative fiscal management while providing superior services for our residents,” Koehler concluded.

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