Massac County has received its first sales tax revenues from cannabis sales.

The county’s portion of the July disbursement was $74,320.72.

The Massac County commissioners learned the news during their meeting Tuesday.

Commission chairman Jeff Brugger asked what the plans are for those funds. County Treasurer Jody Haverkamp noted nothing has been decided yet, but she suggests using a portion for the county’s medical reserve. She noted the sales tax revenue disbursement from cannabis sales will vary monthly.

“We want to make sure it’s spent wisely,” Brugger said. “I’m thankful for the taxpayers we do have something to show for it. I know there are a lot of people who are against it. I think we’re blessed as taxpayers to have it.”

The commissioners approved the Massac County Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax at their Feb. 9 meeting. The ordinance established the maximum taxes allowed — 3.75% in unincorporated areas of the county and 3% in its municipalities — be applied to cannabis purchases. July was the first month the taxes collected by the Illinois Department of Revue could be dispersed the county.

Massac County has paid out its second tax disbursement to all of its taxing districts — an amount of $3,870,989. 57.

Haverkamp said 1,756 “friendly reminders” for past-due property tax payments have been mailed out. As of Tuesday morning, 84 mobile homes and 1148 parcels remain outstanding.

Haverkamp emphasized Oct. 22 is the last day to pay property taxes before the delinquent list is published in the Oct. 28 Metropolis Planet. Certifications for delinquencies will be mailed out Nov. 15-19 with payment due on Dec. 10 before the tax sale at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15. Payments can be made to the Treasurer’s Office dropbox, in person, by mail or online.

The Massac County Detention Center will soon be getting a new HVAC system.

The commissioners approved the bid from Air Pro Heating & Cooling of Metropolis. The project includes removing and replacing the two rooftop units, which will require a crane, and replacing them with units that include self-clean air purifiers at a cost of $39,478, which will be paid for through the county’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding.

Massac County Sheriff Chad Kaylor noted the replacement of the HVAC system, which is original to the building, will take some coordination, and he expects the project start could be in the next four weeks.

Kaylor also updated the commissioners on the food budget situation he brought up at the Oct. 5 meeting. He said the jail is now using Save A Lot in Mayfield, Kentucky, to purchase its lunch and dinner TV dinners as the Metropolis location has closed. He said the cost has increased almost $20,000 since last year. Breakfast meals are purchased from Big John.

He noted the housing of inmates from Johnson County helps offset the food cost. He plans to bring the current year budget to the next meeting to see what funds can be shifted around to help with food costs.

Kaylor said the jail count has been averaging 41 to 43 inmates over the last two weeks. As of Monday night, it was 42 inmates, 15 of whom are from Johnson County and five are from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Another item the jail must supply for inmates is bed mats. Kaylor explained these wear out over time and use, and he is having difficulty procuring new ones. He is looking into alternatives.

In other business

• County highway engineer Joe Matesevac informed the commission he has submitted the final plan for replacing Country Club Bridge. He has gotten confirmation from a railroad representative the plan has been received. He hopes it is approved and work can begin in 2022.

• Haverkamp informed the commissioners she has received a letter stating corporate tax receipts have increased, therefore the county’s personal property replacement tax will be higher than this time period year. For this year, the county received $151,964.49 for the month of October, compared to $46,739 for October 2020.

• Haverkamp informed the commissioners that progress is being made on the county’s audit. She hopes it will be done at month’s end.

• And, Haverkamp reported the county’s general fund balance is around $220,000, prior to the payment of bills and payroll.

The county commission’s next regular meeting will be at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2.

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