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County Board Takes Up Cannabis Discussion; Holds Off on Action

A sparse crowd made up of only media and officials gathered in the peanut gallery of the White County Board meeting Tuesday night.  A Budget Public Hearing began the evening at 6:45pm with no questions, comments or real discussion.  Board members did praise Sheila Headlee for a job well done on putting the budget together.  The proposed budget is balanced with an expected profit of exactly $3,794.  Again, this is only the proposed budget.
 With no visitors or public gripes, the meeting moved rather quickly.  In county officer reports, the Treasurer, not in attendance, submitted a report notifying the board that 2018 Real Estate Property Taxes will be mailed out this Friday, October 11th.  She says a total of 66 individuals opted to go paperless this year and received their tax bills electronically yesterday.  A reminder that the first installment will be due on November 15th with the remainder due on January 15th.  Online payments can be made – That’s GOV TECH TAX dot PRO.  If you choose that option however, credit and debit card payments are charged 2.5% plus $1.50 per transaction while E-checks are charged a one time $2.00 fee for the total payment.  If you go that route, fees are collected by the credit card company and not the county, Armstrong reminds.  The total tax to be collected for White County from 2018 is $16 million, two hundred three thousand, five hundred and ten dollars.  That’s up four hundred – twenty four thousand, three hundred eighteen dollars from last year.  Armstrong reports real estate and mineral tax total is fifteen million, eight hundred forty seven thousand, eight hundred nine dollars.  County Drainage is at $28,438…and County Railroad taxes are Three hundred twenty seven thousand, two hundred sixty two dollars.
Furthermore, White County surplus Real Estate Sealed Bid Auction signs are popping up throughout the county.  Catalogs are available in the office and will be available online at  That’s IL TAX SALE dot com about 30 days prior to the sale in November with the final day to bid being December 6th.
Sheriff Doug Maier’s report to the board included 78 current inmates with 26 of them from in county and 52 from beyond the White County borders.  Jail revenues for September he reported at $104,550.85 with total Sheriff’s office revenue coming to $112,512.93 for the month.  The Sheriff’s Office took nearly 350 calls for service during the previous month while dispatch received nearly 1,350 calls for service.  Also of note, Maier says the County Jail passed its annual inspection from the Department of Corrections with as he puts it, zero noncompliance marks.  Multiple trainings were also held last month including one for cannabis decriminalization.
The coroner’s report for September showed 5 investigations during the month including 4 at homes and 1 at the helicopter landing zone.  Coroner Chris Marsh’s report shows there were 12 deaths in county during September bringing the year to date total to 117 including 2 suicides.
County Board member Ken Usery reported that the pound was inspected by the Illinois Department of Agriculture on September 11th.  There were 3 animals, all dogs impounded at the time and all marks came back as acceptable.  On the given day of the inspection, the inspector Stacey Ballard remarks the facility is acceptable and clean.  The temperature outside that day was 93 degrees at the time with the animals in outside pens with fans and full buckets of water.  She also noted the animals were not panting due to the heat.  Ballard did mark some improvements needed including updated spay and neuter information on adoption contracts.  Also, she said someone needed to remove or scratch out the name and phone number of past employee from signage.
With that, the county board moved to discussion on the cannabis act resolution deciding to table the matter for at least one more month before acting on an ordinance.  More in depth coverage on that front coming soon.  The board also heard an update from member Clint Spencer regarding the New Harmony bridge, being that he sits on the council representing the county.  He says the White County side of the bridge commission will be meeting with Greater Wabash Regional Development and will also have a meeting of their own later this week.
No executive session was called for at last night’s meeting meaning the next gathering will be on November 12th, 7pm once again from the White County courthouse.