Kankakee County clerk boasts decade of being under budget
The Kankakee County Clerk’s Office has ended its 10th consecutive fiscal year under budget, according to its annual report.
According to the Comprehensive Financial & Services Report produced by County Clerk Bruce Clark and his staff, the office averaged a positive balance of $6,016 over the decade and came in $4,929 under budget for fiscal year 2016.
The figures followed a general trend of increasing revenue and decreasing expenditures between 2007 and 2016, including an uptick in revenue in 2014 thanks to a county board resolution that increased the fees for some services, such as a $3 increase for certified copies of birth and death certificates and a $10 increase for marriage licenses.
Based on data, Kankakee County is following a statewide trend of an evening out of births and deaths in the county, reflective of the United States’ aging population. Marriages in the county are also following the general state trend of declining, though the county figures have been stable, in the range of 600 to 700 annual marriages per year since 2007.
The office highlighted two initiatives of its Vital Records department that have benefited area residents. Working with the Asbury Community Outreach Ministries, the department has helped community members who are homeless get their birth certificates, enabling them to access state identification and therefore get more job and housing opportunities. The clerk's office also highlighted its KankakeeGenealogy.com project, which allows community members to browse historic data on Kankakee residents, including birth, death and marriage records stretching to the 19th century.
The clerk's office reported an average of approximately 300 new voter registrations and 1,000 total voter transactions per month. These figures typically spike in the run up to presidential elections, with last October seeing more than 1,000 new registrations and more than 3,000 total voter transactions. According to the report, ballots cast in the general elections on years with a presidential election have been between nearly 46,000 and more than 48,000 for the past three elections.
The report also says the clerk's office is working to create an online, searchable database of public records related to county government.