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Hamilton County Board September 18 Report

The Hamilton County Board settled in around 5:15 for a near two hour meeting Tuesday night beginning with the Highway Department meeting followed by the regular session at 6.

Board members P.E. Cross and John Chapman, representing the Finance Committee introduced Kevin Wills representing First Mid State out of Bloomington, Illinois.  The firm specializes in public financing for municipalities and have worked regionally with Franklin and Massac Counties as well as Rend Lake College.  The board is considering issuing bonds.  The move, coupled with the board’s identifying of a federal program available could potentially help Hamilton County turn and maintain 36 of the county’s total 46 miles worth of gravel roads into oil and chip surfaces.

The county recently finished up a project from east of Tuckers Corner Road to Campbell thanks to Hamilton County Coal royalty monies.

A full 20 item agenda followed in regular session at 6.  EMA Director Nathan Taylor reviewed the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for the board.  The Proposal is for $43,000 which is grant funded.  The measure passed unanimously.

Hamilton County Sheriff Robert Crow honored Lukas Dale for his exemplary work on a 911 call on August 27th that saw him help save a toddler that had fallen into a pool and was pulled out unresponsive.  Dale was presented a plaque for his success.

Dorothy Smith presented a new budget for the ETSB Board that was accepted for review. The board also approved a resolution to establish a predictable fee for document recording in the county clerk’s office.  Election judges were approved for the 2018 – 2020 term and the board also approved the appointment of Christina Epperson to the Hamilton County Hospital Board to replace Jim Holmes, who hasn’t been showing up for meetings.  Her roll takes effect immediately and assumes the in place term which expires June 30th of 2020.

The board accepted checks in the amount of $2,083.34 from the City of McLeansboro’s dispatching agreement, $125 from the Hamilton County Extension Foundation for the sale of 5 plat books, the Hamilton County Coal royalty check for August in the amount of $168,055.96 as well as checks from the Hamilton County Health Department for August salaries, fringes, unemployment and insurance totaling $10,927.02.  Expected income from the Coal Royalty for September is estimated to be around $92,436.08.

The board also heard from county resident Jennifer Parker who talked for about a dozen minutes regarding young people damaging farmland property driving through fields and “mudding”.  She suggested a multitude of solutions including suspending licensed drivers, paying restitution, and punishing the parents of underage offenders.  States Attorney Justin Hood said he was following up on a couple reports and planned on filing charges in at least one instance as soon as he could get a dollar amount damage assessment from the landowner involved in that case.  A Sheriff’s Deputy in attendance said Parker and others affected would have to file reports and press charges if they wanted action.