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Walsh delivers 2018 State of the County Address
Anastasia Tuskey
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Walsh delivers 2018 State of the County Address

Highlights include capital projects, transportation plans, and strong economy

Will County Executive Larry Walsh delivered his annual State of the County address at the August County Board meeting. Walsh gave an update on the many positive things happening in Will County including major capital projects and major transportation efforts.

“Will County continues to prosper with steady population growth and many new construction projects,” Walsh said. “County government is working hard to maintain a high quality of life while growing our regional economy.”

Walsh highlighted a number of significant projects including the Public Safety Complex, which has been completed. He reported that the county is now focused on the new courthouse, which is under construction in downtown Joliet. The third major capital project will be the construction of a new health department building.

“This modern courthouse will accommodate the needs of our county for many years to come. We are also working closely with the City of Joliet on reopening Chicago Street and looking forward to the new revitalized city plaza across from the Rialto Theater. These projects are an important part of the renaissance of downtown Joliet.

“A new health department building will enable our employees continue to offer superior services and protect the health of our residents. The existing building has long outlived its functional life and our residents and staff deserve better.”

Walsh also explained how the county continues to embrace technology and bringing government services to the people with the previous launch of a new online permitting and inspection scheduling system in the Land Use department and a new case management system to support operations of the States Attorney, Public Defender and other law enforcement agencies. Will County is also implementing a new county finance system which will give both elected officials and staff better tools to monitor county financial work.

“In a world that continues to see major advances in technology in everyday life, people expect the availability of technology to conduct governmental business. Will County is very progressive in offering services our residents can access from any electronic device. We are continuing to use technology to further streamline our services.”

Walsh noted that the county will still face challenges in funding county services, due to significant reductions in expected revenue from the state.

“With a reduction in our local distributive funds from the state of $2.4 million in 2017 and continued pressure caused by reduced state funding to local governments, we are forced to make difficult decisions about operating expenses and investments. I will outline my proposal next month in my budget address.

“The future remains bright and Will County is blessed with our strategic location, skilled workforce, and sound infrastructure,” he added. “We are also blessed with excellent employees who are dedicated to making our county the best it can be.”
 

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