FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS PASSES 2013 BUDGET
December 18, 2012 – The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) Board of Commissioners unanimously passed President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed FY2013 budget by a vote of 16-0 at a meeting held on Tuesday, December 18. The $189 million budget was balanced without raising taxes.
“The open spaces of the Forest Preserve District serve as a gateway from the urban and suburban environments of Cook County to vibrant natural areas that are teeming with life. This 2013 budget, which builds upon a strong foundation of fiscal stability, will enable us to carry out our important mission of conservation and preservation while also becoming a more transparent and accountable government agency,” Preckwinkle said.
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s 68,000 acres include some of the most geologically unique and biologically rich natural areas in the United States. Maintaining and restoring these lands is a top priority in the 2013 budget.
The budget also creates a foundation for long-term fiscal security by creating efficiencies, enacting reasonable user fee increases, and avoiding “quick fixes” in favor of responsible and sustainable spending.
Additionally, the budget reflects a renewed focus on community engagement and outreach, ensuring that even more residents have the opportunity to experience the wonders of the forest preserves for themselves. These new outreach efforts will include one-on-one, targeted coordination with community groups, churches, not-for-profits and other organizations to attract new users from all areas of the County, and to equip them the tools and knowledge to become frequent visitors of the Preserves.
The coming year will also see an expansion of free special events programming started in 2012, including canoeing and paddling outings, Films in the Forest and Forest Jams, and other family-friendly and educational offerings.
“This is an exciting time for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County,” General Superintendent Arnold Randall said. “In the coming year, we are looking forward to bringing new audiences to the preserves, increasing volunteerism, generating new sources of non-tax revenue, and honoring those who had the foresight to establish the District and guide it through our first hundred years.”
The total FY 2013 budget is $189 million and is allocated as follows:
- $52M Corporate Fund
- $3M Self-Insurance Fund
- $2M for Construction and Development
- $5.3M for Capital Improvements (carryover)
- $14.8M for Real Estate Acquisition (carryover)
- $14.8M for Bond and Interest fund
- $3.0M for Annuity and Benefit fund
- $15.2M for Brookfield Zoo (the Zoo raises an additional $48M for itself)
- $9.4M for Botanic Garden, (the Garden raises an additional $21.2M for itself)