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Cathy Taylor
Cathy Taylor
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Hamilton County Board Highlights – 7/16/19

Hamilton County Board members convened at 6pm Tuesday night and given the 5:30 Carmi Council meeting time plus travel time, you can imagine WROY/WRUL News showed up just a hair after the McLeansboro get together began.  Even still, we’ve pieced together the gaps through the help of board members and public attendees.  Chairman Brad Miller was absent, leaving P.E. Cross to serve as chair in his absence.

We’ve learned the details of the County/City of McLeansboro Dispatch Intergovernmental Agreement, which is retroactive to February 3rd of this year.  Officials came to a 6 year agreement that amounts to $48,000 per month for the next 3 years and then $50,000 per month for the 3 years following that.  The agreement nearly during the first 3 years and does over the last 3, double what the city has been paying to the county for Central Dispatch.  The agreement was approved unanimously.

Jim Morris for the McLeansboro Fire Department talked with Board members about the need for a Pyrotechnic Use Act.  We’ve learned there has been some interest in providing fireworks displays in the county.  Fireworks, what most people call good fireworks anyway, are illegal to possess in Illinois by residents and can only be set off by a certified professional.  The board will look to draft an ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county.  In theory this would involve a member of the group or organization wanting to put on a fireworks display to fill out an application at the County Clerk’s office and pay a $25 fee at least 15 days in advance of the planned pyrotechnics use.  The Fire Chief would then inspect the documents, the area where the fireworks are planned, and basically make sure there’s a professional licensed to handle them during the display.

Also from the Hamilton County Board meeting, the Unit 10 school district officially requested a school resource officer.  With school beginning August 14th and Hamilton County not meeting again as a board until August 20th, a special meeting will have to be held to tackle and prepare an intergovernmental agreement.  That’s expected later this month.

Board members also heard from Mike Harre, owner of Harre Ambulance Service which is the county’s only Ambulance Service.  Harre says he runs it with himself and basically about 4 volunteers.  The county had 809 official ambulance runs last year, which is expected to be nowhere enough for a private service to run a profitable business.  Hand in hand with that, Harre says 80% of the ambulance’s customer base is Medicare/Medicaid meaning payments are late and often half or less than the expected reimbursement.  Expect much more on this front moving forward in coming months and years.

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