Regional Office of Education to change
Anderson began with
some background into the issue at hand. As of June 26, 2012, Public
Act 97-0703 went into effect. This act requires a reduction in the
number of education regions in the state of Illinois by June 30 this
year. Nine regions will be consolidated into others, dropping the
number from 44 to 35.
The main reason for this consolidation is a change in minimum
population of a region from 43,000 to 61,000. Region 38, which
contains Logan, Mason and Menard counties, is currently just shy of
Consolidation will be effective in July of 2015, Anderson said.
Work began last August on efforts to meet the consolidation
Anderson also said that Menard County will join Region 51, which
is Sangamon County, and Mason County will join Region 53, which is
Tazewell County. Woodford County will also join Region 53.
The first resolution Anderson asked the board to vote on was to
join Region 17, which currently contains McLean, DeWitt and
The second resolution is an "Intergovernmental Agreement (IgA) to
Fund the Education Service Region." The current IgA for Region 17
has been in effect since 1995, and Anderson said it has worked out
well for the other three counties since then.
The resolution would require that Logan County would aid in
funding the IgA. The payments made by the individual counties would
be representative of their populations. However, this percentage
would not change after it is set. McLean County is willing to pay
the majority of the funding, which would be 67 percent. Logan County
would pay 12 percent. The cost, which is not known at this time, is
predicted to be less than Logan County is paying now for Region 38.
"They (McLean) seem to be extremely happy to do that. They make
no bones about it that they will pay the lion's share," said
The IgA would also include a Joint Education Committee, which
would meet once a year. The committee would consist of one member
from each county, with McLean providing two members. This would
create a committee of five members, which would make voting easier.
Anderson also said that the McLean County state's attorney's
office made sure that the resolutions appeared to be in good legal
standing before Anderson came to the Logan County officials.
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On a last note, Chuck Ruben praised Anderson's efforts in this
"She's done all this -- to eliminate her job. I think she
deserves a lot of credit for going forward with this in a very
professional matter," Ruben said.
The resolutions will be voted on officially by the full board on
Tuesday. Anderson said she would like to see a unanimous vote from
the board, as it would send a positive message of support to McLean
County. Anderson also said she has spoken on this several times with
the county board chairman, Robert Farmer, and he agrees on the
Health department issues
David Hepler made a quick mention of financial issues the health
department is facing. Hepler said the department is working hard to
drastically cut back on expenses in order to make up for a lack of
Hepler said the department needs to cut about $30,000 a month in
expenses. He also said that satisfaction rates for those who go to
the health department for care are very high, but competition in the
medical field is also bringing down revenue.
Bike trail plan
The county board also discussed the endorsement of the bicycle
trail plan approved by the Logan County Regional Planning
Commission. The board members approved the trail plan, which will
allow for county officials to have a series of blueprints for
bicycle trails in mind, should funding become available in the
Budget and audit preparations
The county received two proposals from financial companies as to
the preparation of future budgets and audits. The county has been
working over the last few months on selecting a company for both of
Following a brief discussion on the two choices, it appeared that
the board members were in favor of hiring CliftonLarsenAllen. The
company's proposal costs $15,000 less than the county paid this
year. That number may decrease in the future, depending on how much
the county employees will be able to contribute to the workload.
Board members present for the meeting were vice chairman David
Hepler, Bill Martin, Andy Anderson, Kevin Bateman, Pat O'Neill, Gene
Rohlfs, Chuck Ruben, Terry Carlton, and Jan Schumacher. County
engineer Bret Aukamp and Jean Anderson, the regional superintendent
of schools, were also present.
[By DEREK HURLEY]