URBANA — The cost of running Champaign County government services will rise 5.5 percent next year.
The county board on Thursday approved a $129.6 million budget for 2020, with the increase tied largely to higher personnel and services costs.
It also approved a property-tax levy of $36.4 million — up nearly 8 percent over this year’s levy.
A significant chunk of the levy increase — $1.06 million — is to allow room to include possible taxes on Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center properties, currently subject to ongoing lawsuits between the hospitals and taxing authorities.
If the hospitals’ properties remain off the tax rolls, the county would actually be looking at a levy of $35.3 million.
Some of what’s included in next year’s county budget:
— Raises: Non-bargaining-unit county employees are set to get a 3.1 percent raise next year. Bargaining-unit employees will receive raises according to their contracts. Employees covered under an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees contract will get a 3.3 percent raise.
— Revenues for all county funds next year are projected to grow by $8.4 million, or a 6.9 percent increase over this year.
— The county plans to invest $2.2 million on facility and technology improvements next year to help catch up on deferred maintenance.
In other business Thursday, the board declined to take action on a controversial ordinance prohibiting marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas of the county. Instead, it sent the ordinance back to committee to work out a possible compromise.
The board also approved a cannabis, drug and alcohol use/abuse policy for county employees in anticipation of the legalization of recreational marijuana starting next year. Under an amendment, the policy is a temporary measure that will expire June 1, 2020.
The policy, in part, permits the county to conduct pre-employment and random testing on employees with safety-sensitive or security-sensitive jobs and also allows for the right to conduct testing on any employee if there’s a reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired at work.