Following a brief closed session with Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst to discuss real estate, Commission Chair Jeff Weber explained the commissioners have been discussing with the Regional Office of Education board to purchase the building. The motion was made to purchase the building at a cost of $10, by Commissioner Jayson Farmer, seconded by Commissioner Jerel Childers and unanimously approved.
The building formerly housed the Pepsi plant and was donated by Harry Crisp to the ROE in the 1980s to be utilized for the purpose of education. The ROE has used the building for its General Education Degree program. The original agreement with the ROE was for $10.
During the meeting, Weber opened the Illinois Department of Labor’s (IDOL) final report, which stems from the IDOL visits earlier this year after a courthouse employee filed a complaint about the condition of the courthouse.
Weber said the report is 27 pages long and lists the violations found, with each violation having its own deadline to be corrected. The earliest date he saw is Aug. 20. The violations must be corrected in order to avoid penalty.
Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst said there are close to 21 violations, mostly which deal with electrical issues.
“Another violation is in regard to proper eye protection when individuals are using hedge cutters or grass trimmers and another deals with proper employee training on how to use a fire extinguisher,” said Windhorst.
Windhorst said the county will have 15 days to contest the violations and he said Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder has already began working to abate some of them.
Joe Matesevac, Massac County highway engineer alerted the board to a road closure of New Columbia Road, just north of Big Bay. The road will be closed starting next Monday so work can start on a bridge. He said “road closed” signs will be posted.
He also noted there will be a probable road closure Wednesday, Aug. 13 on Country Club Road at the railroad bridge, at the request of Ameren to install two new power poles.
According to Matesevac, he has talked with Burlington Northern Railroad officials regarding the railroad crossing at U.S. 45 and Joppa Rd. Railroad officials have plans to re-do the crossing, poring in new concrete and raising it up. At this point, an estimate will come later and most likely the county will have to share the cost of the work with the railroad through an interagency agreement. He does not know when construction would begin.
E.T. Simons was awarded the low bid for resurfacing work to be done on Boaz Road. Matesevac said the low bid was $110,000 less that the estimate.
During public comment, Massac County resident Mary Dement brought to the board a discrepancy on her property tax bill. She explained she had 63 acres, but sold 40 acres last September, leaving her with 23 acres. Dement said when she received her tax bill, it indicated she is being taxed for 24.5 acres. She said she went to the Massac County Assessor’s office and the employee she spoke with was not helpful and was later advised if she had an assessment error to come talk to the commissioners. “I don’t mind paying the money, but I don’t want to pay for land I don’t own,” she said.
The commissioners called Massac County Assessor Gary Hamm to the meeting to address the issue. Hamm said he will have to send the correct information to the mapping company to get Dement’s taxes corrected for the 2014-2015 taxing cycle, but indicated for this tax cycle, there is no way to correct it. “We can’t go backward,” he said. He also explained the state determines the value of farmland determined by a Productivity Index.
Later in the meeting, Hamm said he had looked at the parcel, which he said originally is listed as 65 acres. “This goes way back,” he said.