Busy Meeting for Hamilton County Board
The Highway Commission discussed several road projects they’ve been working on, completed and are planning. The county’s 48 miles of gravel roads will be significantly reduced over the next couple years if the current plan holds. County Engineer Kevin Phillips with the board has identified 23.4 miles of roads they hope to utilize Rural Development grant funds to improve. The plan is to, over the next two summers, turn them from gravel into oil and chip. By doing so, the county board says they’ll save on maintenance and repairs as well as improve the driving experience for passengers travelling those routes. Among the selected locations are 5 and a half miles of Walpole/Rector Creek Road, a 3.75 mile stretch of Outland Ranch Road on 600 East, one and a half miles of 600 East due west of McLeansboro, 2.15 miles of Piopolis Road, a 6 mile stretch of Miller Store Road from Crook Township to Crouch Township in Beaver Creek, and a 4.5 mile stretch of Army-Navy Store Road from Mayberry Township to Lick Creek Church.
In regular session, Cindy Imboden addressed the room on behalf of the city of McLeansboro, hoping the board would assist in the purchase of Christmas decorations. You could buy almost 700 bottles of Royal Crown whiskey for what the city of McLeansboro has spent on Christmas decorations over the last 3 years, based on figures Imboden shared.
The company the city orders from has a 33% off sale in the New Year and the city is hoping the county will consider financially assisting with the upgrades.
EMA Director and McLeansboro Police Officer Nathan Taylor gave his report as did Dorothy Smith on behalf of the ETSB. Smith says the board will need to appoint someone to take Don Cox’s place on the board. She says they have a prospect from Dahlgren who serves as a State Trooper in Adam Zimmerman and made the recommendation to the board.
Board member Chad May started a discussion on safeguard options for the county email accounts. There are concerns with FOIA, usage of personal accounts, what content needs to be kept on file and how long as well as how will they handle things that need to be kept confidential. A policy will most likely have to be presented, discussed, adopted and put into practice for around 40 county workers including board members.
May also updated folks on the upcoming Recycling Program with a partnership between the Wayne County Public Health Department and Trade Industries. Beginning next year, there will be two – two day events giving Hamilton County residents an opportunity to rid themselves of electronic devices that currently aren’t allowed in the trash. Dates will be announced once they’re set along with the location.
Following that, the board approved the County Clerk’s Semi Annual and Annual Reports as well as the Sheriff’s Annual Fee Report. County Clerk Mary Anne Hopfinger was authorized to reach out to county office holders for the purpose of discovering if there is enough surplus equipment and furniture to host an auction in the new year. Hopfinger says it’s been two years since the last one.
The Board reviewed and approved the 4th Quarter report submitted by the Regional Superintendent of District 20, Dr. Beth Rister, in the amount of $2,948. Next up, the board accepted several checks including:
$2,083.34 from the City of McLeansboro for Dispatching
$8,830.90 from Hamilton County Coal for November per the lease agreement
$125.00 from the Hamilton County Extension Foundation for the sale of 5 plat books
That was ensued by multiple resolution approvals for the sale of the county’s interest in parcels. Three were to the City of McLeansboro at $830 each. One was to Robert L. Thompson for $856.56. One to Gregory McFarland for $1,153.00. One to David, Kevin, and Melinda Delap for $830.00. The last one to John R. Mehalek for $3,232.00.
A review of the 1% School Facilities Tax Distribution Report showed Hamilton County Unit 10 receiving $31,157.48 for the month of September.
The Hamilton County Board accepted checks for the Hamilton County Health Department for November. Salaries amounted to $8,118.84, Fringes $1,212.19, Unemployment $2.09, and Insurance $840.95.
Before adjournment, the board discussed Committee Appointments and read a letter from the White County Sheriff informing the board of an increase in the cost to house Hamilton County inmates at the White County Jail. The rate is increasing in January from $36 to $41 per day. Hamilton County typically spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 per month.