Rhonda Silence

County work session looks at tax abatements, history, and tourism

The Cook County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday, June 15 in a committee of the whole meeting, sometimes referred to as a work session. The meeting consisted of a discussion of tax abatements and presentations by the Cook County Historical Society and Visit Cook County.

The county reviewed the latest draft of a policy regarding tax abatements for developers. The county will continue its discussion of the policy at the next county board meeting on Tuesday, June 22.

The Cook County Historical Society was on the agenda and they had a fairly significant request for support from the county. First, the historical society explained that it is seeking state bonding funds to help construct an archival storage facility and for capital improvements of the historical sites it manages.

The Historical Society also asked for an increase in their budget, from $68,000 in the past two years to $100,000 for two years, with a 2 percent increase each biennium.

The county will consider these requests as it moves ahead with budget planning.

A final matter on the committee of the whole agenda was a presentation by Visit Cook County. VCC representatives shared the history of the tourism entity, which was founded as the Cook County Events and Visitors Bureau in 2008 and is funded by a 1 percent lodging tax.

The next regular meeting of the Cook County board is Tuesday, June 22, starting at 8:30 a.m. The public may monitor the meeting electronically on the Cook County You Tube Channel.