Logan County Board March briefs

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[March 23, 2020] 

The Logan County Board held its Regular Board meeting Tuesday, March 17 to vote on several motions and discuss committee updates.

Board members present were Chairman Emily Davenport, Vice Chairman Scott Schaffenacker, Dave Blankenship, Bob Farmer, Cameron Halpin, David Hepler, Chuck Ruben, Bob Sanders, Annette Welch and Jim Wessbecher. Janet Estill and Steve Jenness were absent.

Planning and Zoning Committee update

Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman David Hepler made a motion to approve a Conditional Use Permit. This permit adds a parcel to the Whitney Hill project.

At last Thursday’s Board Workshop, Kyle Barry, the attorney who represents the Whitney Hill project, said during construction a mistake was made by the construction team. When they rerouted an underground collection line, it went under a driveway of a parcel that was not part of the original permit.

This parcel is embedded in another parcel that is part of the existing permit. Therefore, Barry said this application seeks to add the parcel that includes the driveway where the underground cable goes to correct the mistake.

Logan County Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea said the addition is a six-acre parcel.

Daniel Sheehan of Swift Current Energy said the decision was made to reroute the line due to the wet conditions last summer. The landowner pointed out the wet area to the construction team because he was concerned the crew would not be able to install the cables adequately without causing more soil damage and impaction.

It was the landowner’s idea to route the collection line straight under his lane and construction crews decided to do the rerouting. The crew procured an easement agreement with the landowner and Sheehan said they thought they were in good shape to go ahead and proceed with the installation.

What Sheehan said the crew failed to realize was that the parcel needed to be added into the county permit to officially be part of the project.

Tuesday, Sanders said the company seems to do the work and then ask for forgiveness.

Ruben said the landowner did give them permission to bore under his lawn and now the county is just trying to meet requirements.

Aside from the permit, Welch said they otherwise have all the proper sign offs.

The resolution for the conditional use permit passed 8-2. Blankenship and Sanders voted no.

Airport and Farm Committee update:

The Airport and Farm Committee unanimously approved three motions:

A TIPS Project for the main parking apron with the county’s share being $29,666.

A contract with Arrow Energy, Inc. for aviation fuel.

Permission for skydiving. At Thursday’s workshop, Jeff Hayes of the Illinois Parachute Club said he would like to use the Lincoln facilities for skydiving. Hayes said he would be bringing in some revenue because he would rent a hangar and purchase fuel.

Lincoln has a bigger and better runway than Minier, which is nearer to him.

Tuesday, Logan County Airport Manager Gene Rohlfs said the group wants to hangar an airplane at the airport and will mainly fly in winter, spring and fall. Their target area for skydiving is several feet from the runways.

Rohlfs said the club has provided medical forms and has insurance with $1 million coverage. No one will be jumping unless they have 100 jumps under their belt. Hayes has over 4,000 jumps in.

Insurance, Legislative and Liquor Committee update

The board approved a motion to accept renewal of Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medical, Dental and Life Plans with an overall renewal of -1.29 percent.

Committee Chairman Annette Welch said Whiteman was able to negotiate a lower rate with Blue Cross/Blue Shield this year. Originally, Blue Cross/Blue Shield was going to increase the rate by seven percent, but because of favorable claims, they agree to decrease the rate if dental was kept as part of the coverage.


Whiteman looked at other insurance carriers, but Welch said all the others had higher costs. The county portion will still be $500 per participant to cover the least expensive plans. Any plan costs over that amount will be paid by the covered employees. Welch said the plan has been forwarded to county employees and all enrollments will be done electronically. Whiteman will be available for questions as needed.

The board also voted extend the contract with Nathan Whiteman as the insurance consultant for an additional three years at a cost of $33,000 annually.

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Finance Committee update

The board unanimously approved a motion by Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Ruben for a resolution to amend the guidelines for Finance Committee regarding financial procedures for vouchers.

At the March Finance Committee meeting, Ruben said committee chairs will now be responsible for signing vouchers. Ruben said he is trying to keep from having administrative staff signing the vouchers, though the staff could use stamps with the chairman’s name if the chairman asked them to.

They also approved changing the Data File Fee from $250 to $100. Ruben said in the Assessor’s office, one gentleman was going to sue over the $250 charge. Many counties are reducing the fee to $100 because of similar suits.

Tech Committee update

The board unanimously approved Tech Committee Chairman Cameron Halpin’s motion to award managed print service contract to Watts Copy Systems.

Halpin said the new contract will be lower with the average charges half of what they have been. The State’s Attorney’s office will save $200 a month on his lease fee using the new system.

Watts has agreed to cancel existing contracts with some of the offices and put all the contracts into one new agreement.

All the old devices have physical hard drives that can store data. Most of the data is not easily accessible. However, before getting rid of the old devices, Halpin said data needs to be wiped from the old hard drives. If the county has the previous company Digital Copy Systems wipe the hard drives, it will cost $225 per hard drive.

Ruben said he did not think the assessor’s office drives would need to be wiped, but attorneys and judges’ devices probably would.

Halpin agreed and said there is a tool on the devices he could reset and not remove the operating system from the device. He said there are options that would not cost the county.

Dave Blankenship asked if it would interfere with the state’s requirements for record management that you have to keep information for so many years.

Halpin said data stored on the hard drive would mainly be scans or emails. There is no information stored on it that could not be found somewhere else.

Melanie Blankenship said there are electronic storage requirements, so they should check with the State of Illinois for approval of destroying records.

Halpin said the hard drives could be purchased for $365 apiece and then the machines could be returned.

The board did not make any decisions on what to do about the hard drives.

Road and Bridge Committee update

The board unanimously approved the following three motions by Road and Bridge Committee Chairman Bob Farmer:

- To appropriate $267,000 from the County Federal-Aid Matching Tax Fund as a local match for the County Highway 6 Bridge over Salt Creek.

- To award a contract for bituminous materials to the lowest responsible bidder. The letting was Tuesday morning and there were two bidders. Logan County Highway Engineer Bret Aukamp said the lowest responsible bidder was Illinois Road Contractors. They have done quite a bit of work for the county in the past. Prices came in a little above and little below last year depending on the township, but Aukamp said numbers are very comparable.

- To award a contract to Goodman Excavation to place riprap under a bridge in Mount Pulaski on 1400th Avenue

Transportation Committee update

The board unanimously approved to execute and file the 5311 Public Transportation Grant. This grant is a federal grant the county receives every year for public transportation.

Chairman’s report

The Logan County Treasurer and County Clerk requested that two drop boxes be placed outside the courthouse. These drop boxes may be used to make payments to the Treasurer or County Clerk’s Office and may also be used by other offices. The board unanimously approved the drop boxes.

Davenport made a motion to approve the recently updated Standard Response Protocol.

The last one was written in 2013. The new plan has some wording changes and has added a section on responding to active shooters.

Because some members had questions about the new Standard Response Protocol, the board voted to send it back to the Safety Committee for review. It is likely to be brought forward next month.

The next Logan County Board meeting will be in the courthouse on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 6 p.m.

[Angela Reiners]

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