The McHenry County Board gave its seal of approval to a McHenry County Conservation District budget that holds the levy flat and holds a line on spending.
Board members on Tuesday voted, 22-1, to approve the district’s budget for fiscal 2014, which started April 1. The district anticipates collecting slightly more than $9 million in revenue, about 80 percent of which comes from its property-tax levy.
The conservation district, like the County Board, decided last year to hold its levy flat and voluntarily spurn the 3 percent increase it would have been entitled to under the tax cap for this year’s tax bills that arrived in the mail this week.
Conservation district officials call this year’s spending plan a “maintenance budget” that funds current operations and maintenance of the more than 25,000 acres the district controls. The amount of acreage the district maintains has grown by more than 20 percent since voters approved a $73 million bond referendum in 2007.
The district has about 80 full-time employees, plus three part-time and 30 seasonal employees. The budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for employees, while some will see an increase because of a new pay scale.
Although fiscal years for conservation districts runs from April to May, state law gives them until the end of their first quarter to approve a budget.
County Board member Diane Evertsen, R-Harvard, cast the sole opposing vote Tuesday.