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    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle delivers a 2024 county budget address Oct. 5, 2023. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed a $188.7 million budget for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County during a special board of commissioners meeting Tuesday morning. The proposed 2024 budget is $6.6 million higher than the previous fiscal year, an increase of 3.6 percent.

    The budget includes a proposed corporate budget of $87.3 million, a $12.1 million increase from 2023, and $30.5 million dollars for the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The preserves plan to add more than 40 new positions, including a restoration hydrologist, ecology field supervisor, heavy equipment technician and employee recruitment manager.

    The board president also celebrated the proposed budget for its pension contributions, which she said “finally” put the district’s pension fund on a path to full solvency.

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