Insurance chair Jan Schumacher said that there would be some
decisions about health insurance next month, particularly since Blue
Cross Blue Shield was going up 36 percent.
The Roger Garrett Agency is gathering more information on
insurance options and on Health Alliance costs. The agency gathered
various statistics, one of which shows that 89 percent of businesses
in Illinois require employees to contribute to their HMO and PPO
health plan premiums.
The personnel and insurance advisory committees will host an
all-departments meeting on March 23 to discuss insurance options and
help department heads to better understand the IMRF change.
The future of emergency response communications
Emergency Management Agency committee chair Rick Aylesworth
yielded the floor to director Dan Fulscher. Fulscher said that Logan
County is aggressively pursuing a couple of grants that come to
about $450,000. The funds would be used for the continued upgrade to
communications and equipment at the Safety Complex and possibly at
the courthouse. Fulscher credits Sheriff Steve Nichols and Mike
Patridge for the work on these grants.
Fulcher told board members that the big goal at this time is to
get the sheriff's department radios changed over. By the end of the
summer, the jail, sheriff's department, Lincoln Police Department,
courthouse security and 911 center will all be on the new system and
using newly required narrow-band frequency. This will make it so
that any deputy with a hand-held radio can talk to another deputy
anywhere in the county with the push of a button, Fulscher said.
Finance chairman Chuck Ruben corrected an announcement he made
last week. On further investigation it was found that the $244,953
check from Rail Splitter Wind Farm was actually reimbursement to the
highway department for roads, not for building permits. He explained
that both bills were close to the same amount and the check arrived
On another note, Ruben said that the auditors expect to be done
next month. The time of completion for the annual examination has
improved each year under Clifton Gunderson, LLP. The company began
assisting the county in 2007 when Helen Barrick was brought in as a
consultant to assist with the 2004-2005 audit that had become bogged
down under former auditors. Clifton Gunderson's efforts over the
past couple of years have put the county back on track. Ruben said:
"The courthouse staff was very complimentary to them. They seem to
be getting along very well with each other."
As legislative chair, Schumacher brought forward a proclamation
and a couple of resolutions.
The board voiced approval for proclamation for National Public
Safety Telecommunications Week of Logan County.
The board also approved two resolutions by unanimous roll call.
The first is in favor of supporting the move to repeal the Illinois
Undervote Notification Law of 2007.
The other resolution was in favor of changing the date of the
Illinois primary election from February to March or April.
Road and bridge
Committee chair Terry Werth motioned and the board approved an
engineering services agreement with Henderson and Associates to
begin painting of steel bridges.
Also, the board approved $21,000 for an engineering study by
Maurer-Stutz of the Salt Springs Ditch along Primm Road, south of
the high school. The ditch is eroding significantly.
Planning and zoning chair Dave Hepler said that the committee is
trying to address problem property issues that would be considered
"junkyards." He recalled that this has been a difficult issue for
past boards, even back to when Dale Voyles was chairman.
While there is a requirement to have a conditional-use permit to
have a junkyard, dump, landfill, incinerator, utility service or
electric substation, there is no penalty if you bypass the process.
He's suggesting that after 10 days' notification of a violation of a
permitted activity, there would be a $100-per-day fine until it is
Bearing in mind that board member John Stewart has brought this
subject before the board with frequency, Hepler concluded with
slight humor in his tone, "One way or another we're going to try to
get some of this cleaned up, at least before Mr. Stewart leaves the
[to top of second column]
Three appointments were unanimously
Hepler explained how he had put in a request to Sen. Dick Durbin
for federal funds for a bike trail. If the full trail would be
built, it would connect to McLean County on the north end and to
Sangamon County on the south for a contiguous trail. It would be 30
miles long and cost $8 million to $10 million. The request allowed
an alternative for an abbreviated trail from Lincoln to Elkhart that
would be 12 miles long and cost $2.4 million to $3 million.
"Hopefully, if the state comes through, we'll have state and federal
money," he said.
Homeowners in need of help
Pat O'Neill said there are still funds available for those who
qualify for help with winter energy bills. Contact Community Action
about filing for assistance.
O'Neill added that the Cheeseburger in Paradise fundraiser was a
humongous success at $16,000 and still counting.
Special events: Abraham Lincoln wagon, health fair, Polar Plunge
A rededication of the Guinness-recognized "World's Largest
Covered Wagon" is set for today (Friday) at 4:30 p.m. The wagon with
Abraham Lincoln on top has moved to the Best Western Lincoln Inn on
historic Route 66, and a scenic byways display has been added.
Following this event a fish and chicken dinner will be available
for purchase at the American Legion.
The time is nearing for the annual Community Health Fair. The
fair opens for fifth-graders on March 26. Then, with a few
presentation changes, it opens to the whole community on March 27.
The annual event takes place at the Lincoln Park District
headquarters. This year everyone is encouraged to bring their
unwanted prescriptions for collection.
The Polar Plunge takes place this Saturday at noon at the Lincoln
Lakes beach. The Logan County sheriff and some of his department
will be taking the plunge.
EMA director Dan Fulscher announced during the meeting that his
wife, Fran, surprised him a month ago by saying that his family had
signed him up to take the plunge under Raven's Flock. Fulscher told
them, "If you can raise $1,000, I'll get wet," thinking they would
never make it. Fulscher said he was instructed by his wife when he
left the house to announce that they had $950 in commitments.
Sheriff Nichols quickly interjected, "That's taken care of!"
which brought a roar of laughter.
Present to observe the evening's activities was M.E. "Gene"
Rohlfs, Republican candidate for the District 4 board seat. Rohlfs
has been in attendance at most committee and board meetings for the
last few months. In the likely event he should win the seat he is
seeking in the November election, he would be ready to begin on Dec.
At the conclusion of the meeting, board chairman Terry Carlton
complimented all the board members. "I appreciate what all of you do
in your committees," he said. "A lot of people don't realize what it
takes to do (committee work). Like what Mr. Farmer does to take care
of the airport. The airport is getting in a lot better shape; he's
constantly working out there. And for all the rest of you, what you
do in committees, thank you. You're doing a good job, you're a good