Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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County briefs: New audit in time for budget process; District 6 candidate presented; nighttime committee meetings move to safety complex; committees report

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(Originally posted Monday afternoon)

[July 21, 2009]  The Logan County audit covering Dec. 1, 2007, through Nov. 30, 2008, has been returned one month earlier than last year's. Auditor Helen G. Barrick from Clifton Gunderson LLP, certified public accountants and consultants, led the finance committee in a thorough review of the 129-page document on July 14.

RestaurantThe full county board was given copies at Thursday evening's board of whole. Committee chairmen are asked to pay particular attention to the audit figures for the departments that their committee oversees. Any errors will be submitted for correction, and the audit will then go before the full board for acceptance.

The audit could be concluded by the end of July, Barrick said.

Finance chairman Chuck Ruben gave Barrick highest praises. "All the county officers bragged on the people that you brought in," he said. He offered his thanks in a sincerest tone: "It's been a pleasure."

LDN will have further details on the audit after the board has reviewed it.

Next year's budget


The process of developing next year's budget begins at the end of this month. The finance committee will be hearing requests for funds from county departments, agencies and others. The hearing will take place July 27 and 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the first-floor county board room.

Candidate for District 6 seat

Terry Carlton, county board chairman, announced that although he would not be present on Tuesday, he would be asking for a vote on Kevin Bateman to fill the open District 6 board seat.

Bateman introduced himself as a lifelong resident of Lincoln. He said he always kept up interest in county and city government but didn't have the time to be involved. "Right now I do," he said.

He has been involved with running Little League baseball and has coached youth basketball.

In his work experience he has been running auto parts and service stores and departments. His current employer is Landmark Ford in Springfield.

He said that once he began working, he never had to look for a job. "They always came about," he said. He has not made applications or resumes in recent years but has always been contacted by businesses to come work for them.

As his strengths, he said that he keeps his departments under budget and finds ways of doing things. "I get my department to work together as a team, so there's no one person who does it all," he said.

Committee meetings moving

It was announced that evening meetings of county board committees that currently meet in the Logan County Courthouse are being moved to the Blue Room in the public safety complex. The public is still invited to attend these meetings and would be admitted through the secure front door of the complex, located at 911 Pekin St.

The location change is being made due to security concerns. During meetings after hours, there is no security at the courthouse. The doors have been kept unlocked for public access. However, there has been no supervision of the building outside of the meeting room.


The two full board meetings will continue to be in the courthouse. The board of whole meets on the Thursday before the third Tuesday of each month, and the adjourned board meets on the third Tuesday, both at 7 p.m. Security is supplied at the courthouse during those two meetings.

Highlights of committee reports heard during Thursday's board of whole:

Airport -- Fuel sales are increasing. Last month, 1,215 gallons of fuel were sold. Some 400 gallons per month had been sold previously. The fuel bought during a time of high prices was reduced to $4 per gallon a couple of months ago to spur sales.

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Auto Sales

Animal control -- Chairman Gloria Luster reported that annual community contract renewals are being completed. Mount Pulaski, Lincoln, Middletown and Hartsburg contracts have been signed, and a couple more are expected soon.

The facility passed its annual inspection by the Department of Agriculture and received positive comments. "They were impressed with the low odor this year and care of the animals," Luster said

The next fiscal year's goal is to get new kennels. Dr. Sanborn is researching what kennels would be the best choice. The new kennels are estimated to cost over $30,000.

Building and grounds -- Chairman John Stewart announced that the county had secured grants for lighting upgrades at the safety complex and courthouse. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity offered the grant funding through its Clean Energy Foundation.

Total project costs:

  • Safety complex, $16,731

  • Courthouse, $29,608

Grants received:

  • Safety complex, $12,155

  • Courthouse, $22,206

Out of pocket:

  • Safety complex, $4,176

  • Courthouse, $7,400

Stewart credited work by Jan Schumacher and Carlton in getting the grants.

Decisions are narrowing for the replacement of the Civil War soldier monument. The committee expects to assist with some funding for this project and some funding for the kennels needed at animal control.

Chamber of commerce -- Chairman Jan Schumacher said that plans for the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival are falling into place. All the balloon sponsorships are in. Entertainment sponsorships are still available.

Community Action -- Chairman Pat O'Neill said that the Head Start program received a grant and was able to purchase two new buses.

Law enforcement -- Sheriff Steve Nichols reported a problem with heating and cooling at the safety complex. A 15-year-old compressor has been leaking. The minimum bid for a new compressor was $115,000. It would cost $12,500 to repair the old one.

The system has had multiple repairs made by many different companies. This has in some cases created additional problems. R.A. Mechanical is now helping to resolve some of the accumulated problems, the sheriff reported.

Schumacher suggested looking into if there would be a grant available for going green in the building.

Planning and zoning -- Chairman David Hepler was absent. Planning and zoning officer Will D'Andrea said that the regional planning commission and the zoning appeals board both approved increasing wind turbine tower heights and setback distance from permanent structures. The tower height limit would be 750 feet, with a corresponding setback of 1,000 feet.

Road and bridge -- Chairman Terry Werth was out sick. Bob Farmer reported that three bids were received for the County Highway 10 (Elkhart-Mount Pulaski blacktop) project. Illinois Paving won the low bid at $4,453,000. "As soon as the state says it's OK, it's a go," he said.

Joint solid waste -- Chairman Pat O'Neill said that the previous recycling center has suspended service. New recycling service providers are being sought, but the choices so far are at a considerably higher cost.


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