By ERIN SANSON
The Macoupin County board met on Oct. 10 for its monthly meeting. There were several guests and items discussed, including a potential Eagle Scout Project, SAFE-T Act implementation updates and Transportation Program updates.
Matthew Eldred with Boy Scout Troop No. 62 came before the board to request permission to access the County Home Cemetery for his Eagle Scout Project. He plans to clean up the cemetery, fix the fence and install signs for the cemetery. He plans to work with his Troop to complete the project. The board approved his request.
Mary Kay Green came before the board to discuss the Brighton-Bunker Hill Road Project. Green stated that there were several homeowners along the road that were having issues with the ways their driveways and landscaping had been fixed. She came to the board to request a meeting to bring these issues up and have them corrected before the project was completed.
Kara Evans with Scheffel Boyle presented the Fiscal year 2021-22 audit to the board. The audit did not include the Health Department as they have their own financial set-up. The auditors gave the County an unmodified opinion, which is the best opinion that can be given.
Public Health Department and Public Transportation Program
A resolution amending the name of the Public Health Department was approved. The previous resolution did not include the name of the Health Department, which was added to the amendment as well as an updated address. The resolution now reads, “Resolution 1983.06 is amended to read the following: by the County Board of Macoupin County, Illinois, that a health department, namely ‘MACOUPIN, COUNTY OF’ DBA Macoupin County Public Health Dept., located at 205 Oakland Avenue, Carlinville, Illinois, 62626 is hereby established for the County of Macoupin…”
Derek Tiburzi was present at the meeting to give an update on the Public Transportation program. The Health Department has been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Rural Transit Assistance Center for recommendations on the program. For now, the loop routes previously announced are on hold. The program will continue providing on demand, curb-to-curb services. The fare schedule was also updated, a trip within the same town will be $3 for each one way trip, traveling outside of city limits but remaining within the same county will be $5 for each one way trip. Service to Springfield is scheduled for Tuesday each week, depending on availability, and will be a $20 round-trip fee. Service to St. Louis, depending on availability will be offered on Thursdays for a $25 round-trip fee.
SAFE-T Act Implementation
Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jordan Garrison came before the board to speak about the implementation of the SAFE-T Act in Macoupin County. At this time last year, there was an average of 72 inmates in the jail compared to 59 this year. There has been a reduction in felony filings but Garrison says that is for a multitude or reasons including the reduction of Illinois State Police activity in the area.
There have been 26 felonies filed this year since the SAFE-T Act went into effect versus 36 in the same time period the year prior.
The Public Defenders office was awarded a $90,000 grant to help implement the SAFE-T Act at their office. Garrison said that about an hour and a half long discussion is held each day, during working hours on the SAFE-T Act, plus the hours spent outside of the office discussing the Act and implementation.
Seven people being held on bond were released from jail, but Garrison said, on the flip side there was an individual who committed a theft, bonded out, committed a theft, bonded out, but has now committed a misdemeanor violent crime, but he cannot post bail and remains in the jail.
Coroner Special Services
Garrison was also before the board to discuss issues with the County Coroner. Anthony Kravanya was not a person of interest in the Heinz Funeral Home case but would be a foundational witness if the case goes to trial as he keeps the records for the County. Garrison said because Kravanya has this conflict it would be unethical of him to investigate the case. Brad Targhetta, the former County coroner, was contacted and appointed as the Deputy Coroner and Special Investigator for the State’s Attorney’s Office to investigate the case.
Art Partridge was appointed to the unexpired term of Glenn Kellebrew on the Staunton Fire Protection District ending April 30, 2024.
Tony Wiggins and Tom Stoecker were reappointed to the Board of Review for a term ending May 31, 2025.
Sean Rees and Chas Swearingen were appoint to the Public Health Board and Leann Barr was reappointed to the board, all for terms ending Aug. 31, 2026.
The board accepted a bid from Abateco Inc. for asbestos abatement at the Old Clinic on E. Main Street for $8,777. Once the asbestos is removed the board will look into bids for demolition of the building.
Board member Harry Starr provided a brief update on the Courthouse HVAC system. The chiller system is on its last legs and there is concern that it will not last through another cooling season. A new chiller will have to be ordered but could take 30 to 40 weeks to arrive. There was no board action as the update was purely informational.