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Cook County Forest Preserve District's proposed budget for next year holds line on property taxes
Spending plan also seeks iPhone application to help residents find preserves

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

There are no fee or property tax increases in next year's proposed Cook County Forest Preserve District budget, a spending plan that also could make it easier for iPhone users to pinpoint their recreational options.

County Board President Todd Stroger, who doubles as Forest Preserve District board president, released his $198.2 million budget Tuesday. It won initial praise from the nonpartisan Civic Federation and could be approved as early as December.

Taxpayers would catch a small break under the proposed budget. Stroger is asking for more than $1.1 million less in property tax money because of an expected decline in the district's debt payments.

Stroger also wants to spend up to $100,000 to create an iPhone application to help users find forest preserves, search amenities and view photos.

The district also would update its Web site, install propane fuel conversion systems on some district vehicles to reduce pollution and save money. It also would provide district police with "PocketCop" devices, which are hand-held mobile data systems.


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