Last month the Logan County Board
began addressing pay raises for county officeholders who are
elected. Those raises must be in place before an election. The board
approved the standard four-year raises for the offices of sheriff,
treasurer, assessor and clerk.
A recent court ruling determined that the circuit clerk position
is a quasi-elected official and does not fall under the same
Circuit Clerk Carla Bender requested a salary increase to match
the county clerk and treasurer salaries. "That would be equalizing
the salaries," finance chairman Chuck Ruben said. However, an error
in writing the resolution will leave that office $800 short of
matching the other offices, he said. Bender agreed to accept it as
it is written and spare them the paperwork for now.
The salary for that office would increase each year, starting
Dec. 1, 2006, up to Nov. 30, 2010. The increases would be $1,700,
$1,800, $2,000 and $2,000 over the current $41,700.
Health insurance approved
County employees continue to have a choice between insurance
plans. They can choose from the HMO 410 alternative or the PPO 1010
alternative. There is one change this year, in that the county is
going from the 90-10 plan to the 80-20 plan. The county would pay
HMO 410 alternative at $329 per month for a single coverage,
starting May 1.
Grant for courthouse repairs under review
A possible grant to help with courthouse repairs and renovations
is being weighed out against requirements that could interfere with
normal operations at the courthouse. The grant is for a historic
building that offers public accessibility for tours. This would
require courtrooms to be open to the public certain hours. John
Stewart has been working with courthouse judges to see if they can
work out the courtroom requirements. It would be necessary to work
around courtroom and jury schedules. It is also important to be able
to conduct prisoners in and out of the building safely, he said.
Paul Gleason commented that if you look at the guest book, you
will see that the building is already a popular tourist attraction.
There are people from all over the U.S. and foreign countries who
come just to visit the courthouse.
Agriculture, the backbone of Logan County,
About 300 people attended the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber Ag
Breakfast on March 22, according to Bill Sahs, chairman of the Ag
Day event and county board vice chairman. It was a pretty
well-attended event that featured Chuck Hartke, director of the
Illinois Department of Agriculture, as keynote speaker.
The highlight of the breakfast was the announcement of the 2006
Ag Day Scholarship winners. A total of $6,000 in scholarships was
awarded to nine students planning to return to Logan County to
practice in a field related to agriculture.
The scholarship program and breakfast for the community were made
possible by the generous support of local businesses.
2006 Ag Day Scholarship recipients:
John Dallas, Lincoln
Community High School; agriculture major, University of Illinois
Lincoln Community High School; agricultural engineering major,
University of Illinois
Hartsburg-Emden High School; agricultural engineering major,
University of Illinois
Jay Hild, Mount
Pulaski High School; agriculture business management major,
Lincoln Land Community College
Lincoln Community High School; ag engineering major, University
Michael Jones, Mount
Pulaski High School; ag business major, Illinois State
Hartsburg-Emden High School; mechanical engineering major,
Blane Olson, Mount
Pulaski High School; ag business major, Lake Land College
Lincoln Community High School; animal science major, University
Resolution to bear down on truancy
There are about 480 little "cherubs" running loose during daytime
hours in about a three-county area, Gleason said. It is becoming a
major problem: children who should be in class but are not. School
funding depends on attendance, Gleason said.
This is a significant problem that authorities have not been able
to get under control. A new resolution that would help get truants
off the streets is ready to be sent to the state's attorney's office
for review, he said.