Planning for the state fair is in full swing, but Illinois has yet to pay all the costs for last year’s fair … and the one before.
Illinois still owes Springfield more than 100-thousand dollars for the fire protection it provided for the fairgrounds in 2016. The payment for last year of the same amount is due by June. City of Springfield budget director Bill McCarty says the fire department will continue to provide protection regardless ... but late payments do present challenges.
“We can carry $100 or $200,000 for a short period of time. We’re getting to a point where it’s been a year and half, it’s time to get caught up. Especially now that we’re considering a long-term contract.”
Under that proposed contract, the city would charge the state a 5 percent annual increase for the next three years.
The state also operates Du Quoin’s yearly fair - the town's finance director says Illinois owes $20,000 for fire department coverage there in 2017. A spokesperson for the agency that oversees the fairs claims a check was sent last month.
The spokes-person for the Department of Agriculture also says it is processing a payment to Springfield Monday. That response came after NPR Illinois asked why the state was months behind on making its payments.