By ERIN SANSON
The Macoupin County board met Tuesday, July 11 to discuss several issues and received updates on ongoing projects such as the Courthouse HVAC system and teh Public Transportation Program.
There were two guests to the board meeting. The first was Charles Wilson, who was recognized by the board for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Wilson built a walking bridge over a part of a creek at Beaver Dam State Park so visitors could more easily hike the trail.
Tony Law was the other guest. He came before the board with issues he had with Animal Control. The board assured him they would look into the issues.
Public Transportation Program Update
Derek Tiburzi with the Macoupin County Public Health Department was at the meeting to discuss the Public Transportation Program. He brought to the board proposed routes for the transportation program to run, making it more like other public transportation systems, with designated stops for pick up and drop-off.
Tiburzi also asked the board to approve a $40 a month student pass. The student passes were discontinued at last months meeting due to financial issues the program came across. Tiburzi stated that the program was ready to add the student pass back to the program, though at a higher price point. He hopes adding the student pass back to the program will also increase riders, which is how grant funds are designated. The student pass will only be available to Staunton and Gillespie students at this point, as those two schools had previous agreements with the transportation program. Tiburzi said he was willing to discuss adding school districts to the program if the districts were interested.
The board approved Tiburzi’s proposed $40 student pass. The $40 will not cover the expense of those rides, but will be closer to covering the cost then the previous $10 fee. Tiburzi reiterated that they may lose some student riders but the program anticipates others will continue to use the bus and the program needs riders to get grant funding.
Courthouse HVAC Update
The board discussed the HVAC upgrades to the Courthouse. The board says it is leaning towards the first option presented, which would upgrade the existing system rather than replace it with a Variant Refrigerant Flow system. There were still concerns over cost, especially the potential cost of natural gas in the future, which the current system runs on, versus the cost of electricity.
Board member Jim Ibberson made a motion to move ahead with seeking bids for the first option, being the upgrade of the current system. Several board members stated that the board was only seeking bids at this time and they were not necessarily locked in to option one, as there were still those concerns.
Property Tax Software
The Macoupin County board is seeking new property tax software. The Macoupin County property taxes went out over the last week, but there have been several issues with the current software. County Clerk Pete Duncan told the board members, “we’re pretty lucky we got tax bills out at all this year.” Once the contract with the current provider is up in September, the hope is to switch to DEVNET, which many of the counties in Illinois and the counties surrounding Macoupin already use.
A resolution for the anticipated use of township bridge funds was passed. A bridge in Shaws Point Township is set to be replaced, the County portion of the bridge replacement is $221,799.88.
A resolution amending the Township Motor Fuel Fund Budget was also approved. The fund received a transfer of $500,000.
The tentative budget for Fiscal Year 23-24 was discussed briefly. The vote on the budget will be at next month’s County Board meeting.
The board approved the salary increases for the Public Defender and the Sheriff. According to state law, the Public Defender must receive at least 90 percent of the State’s Attorney’s salary, bringing the total salary up to $177,692.80. The Sheriff must receive at least 80 percent of the State’s Attorney’s salary, bringing the Sheriff’s salary to $157,949.15.
The final plat approval for the Kroeschel Minor Subdivision near Medora was approved by the board.