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Kane might join Fermilab fight
Committee to look at resolution asking Congress for funds
By Lisa Smith | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/16/200 12:16 AM

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The Kane County Board is expected to join the chorus of local governing bodies decrying Fermilab's federal funding shortfall.

The board's executive committee is expected to consider a resolution next month requesting congressional approval of supplemental appropriations to restore cuts to the Batavia high-energy physics laboratory's budget.

"Laying off staff, furloughing employees and eliminating the scientific foundations of the laboratory's future will deal a crippling blow to Fermilab," the resolution states.

By considering the measure, the county board is following in the footsteps of Warrenville, Aurora, Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles and North Aurora. Nearly 1,000 Fermilab employees live in those communities.

Officials at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, announced in December the funding shortfall will force them to lay off 200 workers and halt research work on its proposed multibillion-dollar International Linear Collider.

Fermi expected to receive $372 million for fiscal 2008, which began Oct. 1, but instead stands to get just $320 million.

The layoffs, which could take effect as soon as April, represent about 10 percent of the facility's work force. Remaining employees will be forced to take off two unpaid furlough days every month starting next month.