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Chairman Franks Praises Mental Health Board for Fiscal Stewardship

Post Date:07/30/2019 9:48 AM

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks, D-Marengo, commended the Mental Health Board’s ability to expand services while abating unneeded surplus funds as a model for other governments to follow.

Recognizing the need for property tax relief, the Mental Health Board approved a tentative 2020 budget that abates $500,000 of surplus reserves while ensuring that its more than 30 partner agencies are fully funded. Franks called the proposed budget another feather in the cap for a Mental Health Board that has expanded its offerings to tackle the problem of homelessness and the scourge of opioid addiction.

“This is how it’s done,” Franks said. “The Mental Health Board has fully funded its agencies, funded a sober living home, and is helping to build a 24-hour, permanent homeless shelter set to open later this year south of McHenry. It supported and funded training and distribution of Naxalone to 350 first responders who have so far prevented 94 opioid overdose deaths. And after all this, the year after the Mental Health Board paid off its debt for its Crystal Lake building, it decided that it could give half a million dollars it doesn’t need back to the taxpayers while still maintaining a very comfortable reserve.” 

The voters of McHenry County created a levy, which under state law cannot exceed 0.15 percent, to fund mental health agencies. The Mental Health Board has kept its levy flat for the past six years.

“I believe McHenry County’s property tax bills would be much lower if every taxing body had the wisdom, forethought and discipline of the Mental Health Board and Executive Director Scott Block. If the Mental Health Board can fully fund its obligations, and in fact expand services to help our most vulnerable citizens while being able to keep money in taxpayers’ pockets while it belongs, so can other local governments.”

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