WBEZ | Cook County services http://www.wbez.org/tags/cook-county-services Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en County won't charge unincorporated areas for policing yet http://www.wbez.org/story/county-wont-charge-unincorporated-areas-policing-yet-93775 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-04/Preckwinkle police task force.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After much criticism, the Cook County Board President is backing off a controversial push to tax unincorporated residents for police services. Instead, Toni Preckwinkle announced Friday she's creating a task force to examine other options.&nbsp;</p><p>"Our effort is to figure out how we're going to deal on a case by case basis with the unincorporated parts of this county and to come up with a plan that we can incorporate into next year's budget," Preckwinkle said.</p><p>Solutions include the creation of special service areas, contracting for services with adjacent municipalities or incorporation.</p><p>Two percent of Cook County's residents live in unincorporated areas. But charging them for police services could net up to $11 million dollars.</p><p>While that's not much when sized against the $315 million dollar shortfall the county faces heading into 2012, the Civic Federation's Laurence Msall said this task force may be the starting point for recovering even more money.</p><p>Msall is one of 13 members on the new task force and cites <a href="http://civicfed.org/sites/default/files/CookCountyModernizationReport.pdf">a study</a> his organization released last year on modernizing Cook County.</p><p>"The magnitude we've been able to identify in our 2010 study was about $70 million dollars of county expenses can be drawn to providing the broad municipal services," Msall said.</p><p>Beyond police protection, he said that includes the inspectors the county provides to maintain zoning, liquor control and animal control.</p><p>Msall said there are myriad ways to solve the county's problem of unincorporated areas receiving free services by default, and he's not ruling out a push for new legislation.</p><p>Current law does not allow the county to force unincorporated areas to incorporate.</p></p> Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/county-wont-charge-unincorporated-areas-policing-yet-93775