Logan County Briefs: Prevailing Wage Act passes in second round with five under protest; planning for future power and information losses; and more

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[July 21, 2017]  LINCOLN - On Tuesday, July 18, the Logan County Board held the July Regular meeting to vote on motions and resolutions and to hear committee updates. The focus was updates from the Insurance, Legislative, and Liquor; Safety, Law Enforcement and EMA; and Buildings and Grounds committees.

Guests were Emergency Management Agency Director Dan Fulscher and Mark Landers from the Sheriff's Office.

Insurance, Legislative, and Liquor Committee Update

Insurance, Legislative, and Liquor Committee Chairman Annette Welch’s motion to accept a resolution for the Prevailing Wage Act failed in its first vote with Kevin Bateman, Dave Blankenship, Emily Davenport, Gene Rohlfs, and Bob Sanders voting no; Janet Dahmm, Bob Farmer, David Hepler, Chuck Ruben, and Annette Welch voting yes; and Gloria Luster and Scott Schaffenacker abstaining.

Board Chairman Chuck Ruben told the board that if the resolution failed, the county would not get state money and it could have legal consequences.

County Clerk and Recorder Sally Turner said she talked to someone from the Attorney General’s Office. Turner said Shelby County had called the Attorney General’s Office because their county board had voted against it. That county was told they could be liable for intentional official misconduct, a class three felony.

Board member Dave Blankenship said Atlanta Township recently voted “yes” on the act, but under protest.

Board member Kevin Bateman said he would always be a “no” vote. Bateman said Governor Rauner is against the act, but the legislature wants it.

Ruben said the county level is not the place to change it; the State Legislature is, because it is where the rule comes from.

Board member Gene Rohlfs asked why the board even votes on the issue if they are not allowed to vote against it.

Ruben said mainly they have to do it because it is what the law says.

Board member David Hepler made the motion a second time and it passed 10-1-1 with Dave Blankenship, Janet Dahmm, Emily Davenport, Gene Rohlfs, Bob Sanders all voting “yes under protest” Bob Farmer, David Hepler, Chuck Ruben, Scott Schaffenacker and Annette Welch voted yes. Kevin Bateman voted no, and Gloria Luster abstained.

Safety, Law Enforcement, and EMA Committees update

Emergency Management Agency Director Dan Fulscher said when they had a news conference at 2:30 last Tuesday afternoon, people came in and knew what to do and right away the information was rolling.

Fulscher thanked Logan County Board Vice Chairman Emily Davenport for taking the lead for County Board Chairman Chuck Ruben as he was gone. He said Davenport and board member Bob Farmer helped work with the city of Lincoln to get out information.

Fulscher said the news media is so important and they were soon able to live stream information to get facts out.

Fulscher said in the future, he plans to send out information earlier to the board chairman and Sally Turner so they can get information out to the other board members.

Fulscher said the county has access to a 60K and five 100K generators. He said at the next EMA Committee meeting, they will discuss putting transfer switches and a coupler in at the Safety Complex to help power a generator. Fulscher said they want to look at the “critical infrastructure” needed at the courthouse and city hall.

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Fulscher said a generator has been added to EMA’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. He asked board member Dave Blankenship to look into the size and prices of a generator for the courthouse.

Fulscher thanked everyone for a job well done.

Bateman said he has reached out to Todd Farley, and is looking at getting a back-up server that could be put in either the John A. Logan building basement or the Safety Complex computer room to connect the buildings together. That way, computers in the courthouse could still operate. He plans to look at feasibility, and later prices to set up the servers.

Fulscher recommended putting the server in the Safety Complex.

Building and Grounds Committee update

Building and Grounds Chairman Kevin Bateman's motion to accept a one year Frontier maintenance contract for county phones in the amount of $4,741.73 was unanimously approved.

Bateman also gave updates on work going on in the courthouse and needs for Scully Park.

Bateman said there have been some problems over the years with air conditioners in the courthouse, and they have been replacing about three units a year. Bateman said this year, there is a need to replace four air conditioning units. At least one of the old units is over 25 years old. Bateman said these will be replaced with PTAC units, which are already being used by some offices, make temperatures easier to regulate and have helped bring down utility bills.

Bateman said he is looking for donors to help fund new playground equipment at Scully Park because some of it is over 20 years old and dilapidated. Bateman said he is looking for something that is both affordable and vandalism proof, but is finding that playground equipment can cost around $50,000. He is hoping to possibly find three or four donors to help fund the equipment and would like to have playground equipment appropriate for various age groups.

Road and Bridge Committee update

Road and Bridge Committee Chairman Bob Farmer brought forward three motions, which were all unanimously approved.

The motions included:

1) A motion to appropriate up to $1,882.49 from the County Bridge Fund to place riprap under a bridge in Eminence Township.

2) A motion to repair a bridge on the Logan-Dewitt County Line.

3) A motion to approve an engineering agreement with Chastain and Associates for $24,367 for the bridge repair on the Logan-Dewitt County Line.

County Highway Engineer Bret Aukamp said that since the bridge on the Logan-Dewitt County Line is connected to both counties, DeWitt County was also voting on a motion for the bridge repair.

Board members present were Board Chairman Chuck Ruben, Vice Chairman Emily Davenport, Kevin Bateman, Dave Blankenship, Janet Dahmm, Bob Farmer, David Hepler, Gloria Luster, Gene Rohlfs, Bob Sanders, Scott Schaffenacker, and Annette Welch.

The next Regular board meeting will be held at the Logan County Courthouse Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

[Angela Reiners]

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