Building, road improvements discussed at October County Board meeting
By ERIN SANSON
The county board meeting, held Oct. 11 was on of the shorter ones in recent months. While the meeting lasted under an hour, including an executive session, several topics were discussed and decided on. Contracts for the Transportation program run by the Health Department were signed, three individuals were reappointed to the Public Health Board and the October American Rescue Plan fund requests were discussed.
Building and Grounds Work
The board approved a contract with Guardian for a roof safety system inspection. The one year contract will cost $3,800. The board had the option to agree to a one, two or five-year contract, which would increase savings per year. Board member Matthew Acord asked Building and Grounds Commission chair Harry Starr what the OSHA requirements for the safety system inspection were to maintain a certification. Starr replied that he was unsure of OSHA requirements to maintain a certification but the manufacturer requires yearly inspections to maintain the certification. The board approved the one-year contract and will look into extending the contract in the future.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee was given the power to act in regards to bids for the Old Jail renovation. Starr asked for the power to act so the work could be done with as little delay as possible.
Three individuals were reappointed to the Public Health board or a three year term. Dr. Therese Polo, Dr. Michael Levora and Lauren Ray will be serving the term ending Aug. 31, 2025.
County Clerk Pete Duncan passed out a list of 399 potential election judges for the board members to approve. There are 45 precincts in Macoupin County, needing 90 judges. Thus far, only 18 judges have been appointed.
Insurance Discussion and Renewal
Blue Cross Blue Shield was named as the county’s insurance provider. According to board member David Thomas, workers at the health department asked about possibly getting voluntary vision insurance. At the Finance Committee meeting on Oct. 6, the committee voted to send out an employee interest survey.
During the Finance Committee meetings there was a lot of discussion about insurance because the County received a $100,000 insurance credit. The County has three health insurance bills between the Courthouse employees, Health Department and Highway Department. The board later found out the credit could only be applied to one bill. To work out a solution, Duncan said the credit could be paid to the general fund, which would then pay out a fair portion to the Highway Department Fund and the Public Health Department. According to meeting minutes, Duncan stressed to the committee members that “this was a lot of additional work for a gimmick and it should probably not be something the county accepts in future years.”
Road Work and Repairs
There was a petition for the County Highway Department to rebuild an embankment on Girder Branch Creek in Brighton township. The Highway Department will rebuild the western embankment that has been washed away. The total cost for the project is estimated to be $25,000, the county’s share would be $12,500.
The board approved the preliminary engineering agreement with Hutchison Engineering for the replacement of a bridge on Richie Road over Nassa Creek. Earlier this year the County was notified that it had received funding from a “special bridge program” of $1.47 million. Hutchison Engineering helped the county put the application for the bridge program together to replace the bridge over Nassa Creek. The total for the preliminary work amounts to $142,492. The total construction cost will be near the $1.47 million dollar mark, but the funding the county received can only be used on construction. The preliminary work will be paid for by the county.
The Liquor Commission met in September for a special meeting regarding a new event venue in the county. The Rustic Venues, LLC put in their application for a liquor license for a venue located near Standard City, formerly McClintock’s. According to the meeting minutes of the Sept. 13 commission meeting the business plans to be open by Jan. 1. The business, at this time, only has plans to operate as an event venue, not as a restaurant. The Liquor Commission approved the license.
State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison gave an update to the board regarding the Opioid Case Settlement. Macoupin County will receive two pay-outs from the case one this year and one next year. Each pay-out will be for about $17,000 and the money must be used for drug rehabilitation. It was originally proposed that the money go to the Public Health Department for their work against drug use. Board member Todd Armour suggested the money go to the Drug Court program. Corinne Briscoe, the Director of the Probation program said she would be willing to take on the responsibility of the reporting requirements for the funding if the money went to the drug court services. The board approved the motion to give the funding to the drug court and probation department.
An executive session was held to discuss personnel. No further information is available at this time.
The board approved a resolution and a contract for the Public Transportation program. The 5311 contract establishes grant funding for rural transportation programs.
The American Rescue Plan requests for October were discussed. Besides a request from the Highway Department for trucks, all other requests came from various townships. There were requests from multiple townships for dump trucks and plows. Several townships also had requests for township building repairs.
The county holiday schedule for 2023 was approved. There were no changes to the schedule except for the loss of Election Day, which will not occur in 2023.
The board was reminded that the November board meeting will be held on Nov. 15, the third Tuesday of the month, due to the election.
The County Clerk’s report highlighted the use of some of the American Rescue Plan funds that office had received. The County Clerk’s Office purchased several new precinct banners and voting booths.