Jones distributed the financial report and noted the remaining balance in the county general fund is $69,093. Jones said as of Tuesday morning, the treasurer’s office had received a check for personal property replacement in the amount of $44,000.
She also informed the board the Treasurer’s Office is busy trying to prepare delinquent letters for both real estate and mobile homes to be mailed.
Commission Chair Jayson Farmer asked if the office could provide an updated list of how much money the state still owes to Massac County. Later in the meeting, Jones brought the list, which indicated the state still owes a total of $149,000, most of which is for income tax.
Massac County Highway Engineer Larry Glasco told the board the highway department equipment is working well. Commissioner Jerel Childers asked if he plans to purchase any equipment. Glasco said right now he has nothing scheduled to buy.
Glasco also had paperwork for a federal aid agreement, which he said is for the resurfacing of three miles of county highway from Electric Energy Inc. to Hillerman on the Grand Chain/Portland Road.
According to Glasco, the whole road was resurfaced about 20 years ago and was the county’s first truck route. He said resurfacing the whole road would be too much, so this year half of the road would be resurfaced and in a couple of years the other portion would be resurfaced. “It is showing some signs of stress,” he said, noting the project would be 80 percent funded by federal funds and the local portion would be 20 percent. The project is slated to be let in March.
The commissioners had no objections to the proposed project and a motion was made and approved to accept the federal aid agreement.
Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder brought an updated list of outstanding bills. Farmer and County Clerk John Taylor advised Holder to check with Massac County Deputy County Clerk Juanita Wedeking, who is preparing to send out several checks to find out for sure which bills on the outstanding list will be paid.
Farmer asked about the detention center’s population. Holder said as of the Tuesday morning meeting there were 54 inmates with 12 being out of the county. Holder said he knows of other people who have outstanding warrants that could be picked up. But, those individuals cannot be arrested because there is no space.
Farmer also questioned Holder about his 2013 budget, noting the staff salaries were higher. Holder said he hoped when the board holds budget meetings that he would be able to explain that. He reminded Farmer last year he had submitted a total of four different budgets.
Holder said he would also like for Jail Administrator John Konneman to sit in on the budget meeting in case the commissioners had any questions about the jail’s budget.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners were visited by Becky Riggs and CaSandra Helton-Morehead concerning the status of courthouse security.
Childers reported that work should begin this week on the ramp project. He said some concrete and some shrubs removed. He said the curb would have to be remodeled and the City of Metropolis has agreed to do that work. He believes grant money should be able to cover the cost of the handicapped ramp and the handicapped accessible bathroom in the courthouse basement.
The ramp will be aluminum and once the weather breaks, it will be painted black.
Childers indicated that once the ramp is in place then the courthouse could move toward using one entrance into the courthouse.
He thinks putting the ramp on the east side of the building and making the east entrance the main entrance will work better because the other foyer areas are not as large. The west side foyer area would be large enough to accommodate a metal detector.
Riggs, who works in the State’s Attorney office, questioned when the metal detector had last been used. Helton-Morehead, who works in the Circuit Clerk office, said it was during a recent trial, and it was working at that time.
The biggest concern in initiating courthouse security remains how the county will fund a security officer to man the metal detector. Farmer asked if there were any court fees that might be used.
Helton-Morehead said she would check into the various fees to see if any could be designated to help toward the cost of a security officer.
Riggs said she would inquire if any court system money could be used, noting that a portion of court system funds is used to help fund the bailiff’s salary.
Childers said he had spoken with a Pulaski County commissioner who said their ID badge system cost $10,000.
Childers indicated the commissioners may have to make keys available to employees or that employees might have to use the main entrance and walk through the metal detector.
The commissioners said they would talk to commissioners in other counties that have courthouse security to see how they are funded.
Commissioner Jeff Weber mentioned he had been searching for grants that might be available and had not found anything yet.
In other business, the board:
• Signed routine paperwork for General Assistance administrator Lori Walters and held a 10-minute closed session with her to discuss personnel.
• Heard from Massac County Assessor Gary Hamm regarding a bill that was submitted on Sept. 21 that had not been paid.
Hamm wanted clarification on the county’s protocol for paying bills, noting he does not want himself or his employees to have to carry the burden for any training they may need to have.
He also gave the commissioners a heads up that his office’s phones are in need of replacement because they are old and dropping calls. He is looking to purchase some basic phones for his office.
In regard to the taxing cycle, Hamm is anticipating to be finished with the informal complaints at the end of the week. He emphasized if anyone has an informal complaint regarding assessments, they need to do so before Friday.
Hamm hopes to be able to publish the county’s abstract soon and then begin the board of review. Hamm anticipates being able to send the taxing information to Taylor in April or May. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.
• And, began interviews for the position of Emergency Service Disaster Agency director, with four being held on Tuesday and one scheduled for Friday. Farmer said the commissioners are still trying to find a suitable time to meet with one other candidate.
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