Tuesday, August 18, 2009
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[August 18, 2009]  The Logan County Board met Thursday evening as a board of whole. This is a summary of comments and discussions:

Airport and farm -- Bob Farmer said the committee would be accepting bids to lease the county's farm ground.

The committee approved a request by Civil Air Patrol Capt. David West to have CAP information classes in the administration building at the airport.

Buildings and grounds -- Board chairman Terry Carlton said that two companies had submitted estimates for alternative energy contracts for county facilities. There was a difference of approximately $17,000 per year between the two-year contracts offered by Ameren and Midwest. At the time of discussion, the current rate with Ameren was at 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour. If the current rate could be secured, it would equate to over $40,000 savings. Last year the county paid over 10 cents per hour for electricity.

It was tentatively approved to purchase new stainless steel kennels for animal control. Buildings and grounds will assist with $30,000 of the cost. The remaining $10,000 would be supplied by the animal control fund.

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce -- Jan Schumacher announced that the chamber had a ribbon-cut at the new Best Western, the former Lincoln Inn located to the north behind the bowling alley. "What a fabulous facility," she said. "I was just blown away. It is so well done, four Jacuzzi suites that are just awesome, and a small meeting room," she said.

It was also announced that the Abraham Lincoln and covered wagon tourist display would be relocating there, she said. The new location for the wagon will be more visible on Route 66 and much better for people to stop and have their picture taken with it.

Community Action -- Pat O'Neill said that the Community Action community is mourning the loss of a longtime active board member, the Rev. Napoleon Bonaparte. (Obituary)

O'Neill said that public transportation meetings continue and are getting near an important decision time. The next meeting was scheduled for Aug. 17.

Economic development -- Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership director Joel Smiley provided the following updates for the board:

  • Helitech -- A company that has been looking to build has moved closer to choosing a site in Logan County.

  • R.P. Lumber -- The company locating at the old Kroger's store is expected to open in mid-September

  • Peebles -- Peebles has converted back to the former name of Goody's and is expected to open on Aug. 20.


  • Wind businesses -- One of the major wind developers is actively looking at a possible small site development in southern Logan County. Two other wind companies have expressed definite interest in the county, with Smiley and board member Bill Martin providing a three-hour tour to one, and another scheduled to come and visit.

  • Activity is still building for the business incubator.

  • There will be a public meeting Wednesday to discuss the economic impact of the proposed prison worker layoffs. Many speakers will be there. The town hall meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.

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Finance -- All the budget sheets are in and a special meeting of the finance committee has been called for Aug. 31 to review the first draft of the budget for the next fiscal year.

This month the committee reviewed the standard auditor's management letter. Each of the recommended points, which were common accounting changes and procedures, was discussed for follow-up with various officials or for the board to work on.

It was tentatively approved to increase county assessor Rosanne Brosamer's salary by $1,200, bringing it to $40,700. Brosamer's position is a two-year appointment with annual review. The salary increase is the same as other county officials, which is kept at CPI.

General Assembly -- Carlton said that six board members toured the two local correctional center grounds and facilities recently. They spoke with wardens and corrections representatives while there. He has a meeting set up with Sen. Larry Bomke and Rep. Rich Brauer when he and board member Jan Schumacher will discuss this issue and other issues of significance for Logan County.

The board tentatively agreed to send a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn and state legislators, stating opposition to the proposed layoffs at the two correctional centers in Lincoln.

Law enforcement and EMA -- Congressman Aaron Schock will be spending the afternoon and evening in Lincoln on Aug. 21. He will arrive in the early afternoon for a press conference at the public safety complex.

Schock has taken the position previously occupied by Ray LaHood, who is now the U.S. transportation director. While LaHood represented Logan County he brought several rounds of funds that provided major improvements at the safety complex for emergency services.

Emergency Management Agency director Dan Fulscher recalled that the first two federal grants that LaHood secured for Logan County were for the start of the upgrades to the emergency operations center. The next was for the integration of the computer-aided dispatch system. The CAD tied all the departments together -- the Lincoln Police Department, the sheriff's department, the jail and the 911 dispatch center. Everyone benefited, he said.

Funds are still needed that would tie the sheriff's department in with the emergency operations center, he added.

Waste management -- Waste management is looking at what to do about finding a new contractor for recycling materials, after being notified last month that the former vendor will no longer provide service.

Carlton welcomed new District 6 representative Kevin Bateman to the board.

Two board members, David Hepler and John Stewart, were not in attendance at this meeting but were expected for the adjourned voting session.



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