New Will County court fee to benefit advocacy program for kids
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com May 16, 2014 6:50PM
Updated: June 23, 2014 11:38AM
A new $15 court fee approved by the Will County Board is expected to generate about $50,000 annually for the county’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.
Since 1994, CASA of Will County has recruited and trained volunteers to serve as guardians ad litem and to advocate for the needs of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.
State law allows counties to implement a mandatory fee of between $10 and $30 for CASA programs. The fee will be charged to those convicted of felonies or Class A, B or C misdemeanors where a court appearance is required.
CASA of Will County last year served 263 children — 50 percent of the children who needed care.
“We are optimistic that this much-needed funding will go a long way in helping abused and neglected children in Will County, and we are grateful to everyone who pushed hard for the legislation,” CASA of Will County executive director Rita Facchina wrote in an email.
The additional funds will help the organization reach its goal to serve all children who need a CASA advocate, she wrote.
CASA of Will County, a nonprofit that operates out of the River Valley Justice Center in Joliet, now relies heavily on the support of individuals, corporate partners and fundraising events to meet its annual budget.
It is seeking golfers as well as donations for its second annual Golf for the Child Classic golf outing June 27 at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club in Lemont. For more information, visit www.casaofwillcounty.org.
In other business, the county board approved new building codes, updating its 2006 codes to meet the International Building Code of 2012, said board member Tom Weigel, R-New Lenox, chairman of the board’s land use committee.
While the new codes allow new materials and methods to be used in construction, they do not require fire sprinklers in one- or two-family residential units, he said.
The new codes also create a board of appeals in case there is a dispute over the interpretation of the codes. Under current codes, the director of the land use department has the final say.