During the meeting, guest Michael Messner said the Clinton Power
Station really needs the board's support. If the station closes in
June of next year, it would affect many in Logan and DeWitt
Counties. He said between 50 and 70 people from Logan County work at
the Clinton Power Station.
Messner said around 500 jobs would be lost if it closed and many
would possibly need to move out of the county or even the state to
find a job in their field. DeWitt County schools depend largely on
taxes from the power station.
In addition, Clinton Lake would be drained. The lake provides
summertime recreational activities and supports numerous ancillary
businesses for people from both Logan and DeWitt Counties.
Messner said the state does not see "big picture" and how it would
affect power going forward.
O'Neill said he has talked to several Lincoln residents who would be
affected by the closing. Many would lose good paying jobs. He said a
major shutdown would be hard on the county. The Workforce Investment
Committee said it would be hard to absorb another major shutdown
like the one at Mitsubishi.
Chairman Hepler asked the board to authorize a letter to the
Illinois State Senate about the Clinton Power Station, which may be
closing next year. He asked Messner, who represents the power
station's union, to update the board on what is happening.
A few minutes into the Workshop, Finance Chairman Chuck Ruben
motioned the board go into executive session to discuss salaries.
After the executive session, Ruben shared several motions he would
bring forward at Tuesday's meeting.
Ruben would make a motion to raise the Logan County Circuit Clerk's
salary $1,750 per year for the next four years.
Ruben would also motion to raise the Logan County Coroner's salary
$1,500 per year. Board member Gene Rohlfs said he plans to amend the
motion to a three percent increase per year.
Board Chairman David Hepler wants the percentage increase for the
coroner to be the same as the percentage increase for the circuit
clerk. He said future boards may be likely to use a lower salary for
the successors to these incumbents.
Ruben would motion to approve the Logan County assessor's salary at
$45,260, which is a three percent raise.
Rohlfs said he would make a motion to postpone this decision until
Board member Pat O'Neill said he feels many are underpaid for their
positions as compared to counties of similar size and would like the
salaries to be more comparable. He wants to discuss salaries further
at budget renewal time.
Ruben said he would motion Tuesday on a resolution to amend
financial guidelines. He said they have changed a few guidelines and
the time for the budget to be on display from 30 days to 15 days.
Ruben said the Finance Committee decided not to go out for bids for
an auditor since they have an offer from auditor Clifton, Allen, and
Larsen who has done the county audit the past few years.
On Tuesday, Ruben plans to make a motion to accept the auditor's
proposal for the next three years and then look at going out for
proposals after that time. Clifton, Allen, and Larsen had the low
bid when they accepted proposals three years ago. The company added
three percent a year to what they charge for the audit and would
also add three percent for the next few years.
Ruben would motion the board use Clifton, Allen, and Larsen for the
years 15-16, 16-17, and 17-18 at the price they gave the county.
Board member Scott Schaffenacker, who chairs the Insurance and
Legislative Committee, said he would make a motion Tuesday to amend
the personnel policy so it follows minimum COBRA laws for insurance
for former employees who qualify.
Rohlfs asked about the COBRA rules.
Schaffenacker said the minimum time for COBRA coverage for employees
is eighteen months without extenuating circumstances. Board member
Kevin Bateman said the person covered has to explain extenuating
circumstances to the insurance company in order to get an extension.
Only the insurance company can extend it. The board is just
following COBRA law by allowing people to stay on the insurance
eighteen months. Bateman said before eighteen months is up, a person
needing an extension should start a dialogue with the insurance
Fire protection district appointments
Schaffenacker said he would also motion for the appointments of Dean
Sasse to the Beason Fire Protection District, and Misty Canada to
the Middletown Fire Protection District. Canada would replace the 91
year old Jim Graff who has served on Middletown's Fire Protection
District since it began.
[to top of second column]
Updates from the Emergency Management Agency
Cheryl Hedrick of the Logan County Emergency Management Agency said board
members would be getting an email about the Grant Accountability and
Transparency Act (GOTTA). As of July 1, 2017 all grants would be combined.
Hedrick said the act would mean if one agency does something wrong, other
agencies would also get into trouble and they could lose grants.
On June 8, there would be an introductory meeting to further explain GOTTA.
Hedrick said committees who have grants may want to attend to hear about
changes. She said there are many questions about the upcoming changes.
Hedrick said forms for grants are changing. There are many applications out
there and the state wants every grant application to have the same forms. The
state wants to get conformity between the EMA and the federal government.
Board member Rick Aylesworth, who chairs the EMA Committee, asked what groups
would be affected.
Hedrick said changes would apply to state and local governments, institutes of
higher education, not-for-profit organizations, and any sub-recipients would be
affected by GOTTA.
LCEMA Hazardous Materials Director Kendall Caruthers said that in mid-June there
would be a "Strategic National Stockpile" statewide event involving the EMA, the
Health Department, the hospital, and paramedics. The Strategic National
Stockpile helps insure counties have life saving medical supplies.
Caruthers said in October, Lincoln would be "ground zero" for a full scale
disaster exercise involving multiple counties. Law enforcement and fire
department personnel from various counties would be involved with the exercise.
Community Action Updates
O'Neill said Community Action may eliminate a Head Start site. One site may move
to all day rather than half days, which may make it easier on parents who do not
have to find childcare part of the day. He said Head Start would still be able
to have the same number of students and teachers would not be laid off if the
O'Neill said there is also a need for more Foster Grandparents in the area.
Those interested should contact Community Action.
Workforce Investment Update
O'Neill said an American community survey showed Logan County's population and
median household incomes are both up slightly, while the number of individuals
below poverty level has gone down slightly.
Several new businesses have opened recently.
O'Neill said there is a new program for free summer training and employment for
18-24 year olds. Free courses offered for job placement, training as a medical
office assistant, daycare assistant, transportation assistant. People interested
should contact 217-726-7999 by May 19.
O'Neill said the mail contact address is:
3311 South Veteran's Parkway
Springfield, IL 62704
Hepler said ApexNetwork Physical Therapy would be having an open house. Ruben
said the office would open on 125 N. Sangamon Street. He said the new office is
part of a chain and is able to get physical therapy started sooner than other
Guests at the meeting were Cheryl Hedrick and Kendall Caruthers of the LCEMA,
Mike Messner from Clinton Power Station, County Engineer Bret Aukamp, States
Attorney Jonathan Wright, and Bill Armbruster of the Farm Bureau.
All 12 board members were present.
The Logan County Board would hold their Regular Board meeting Tuesday, May 17,
2016 at the Logan County Courthouse.