Although it was not on the Tuesday morning Massac County Commissioners meeting, Massac County Sheriff Chad Kaylor requested a closed session with the commissioners to discuss personnel.

Sitting in on the closed session with Kaylor were Massac County Treasurer Jody Haverkamp and Jeff Stroder, certified public accountant with Beussink, Hey & Roe of Cape Girardeau, the accounting firm which handles the county's annual audit. The board returned to open session at 10:05 a.m. and took no action.

Kaylor told the Planet Tuesday afternoon the closed session that morning stemmed from a situation discovered last week. He explained there is no county money missing. However, there are some discrepancies in some finances which are being investigated.

A sheriff's office employee and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) member has been placed on suspension from duties at the sheriff's office and other county-related duties. Due to the FOP contract Kaylor is unable to release the name of the employee.

"This is by no means being swept under the rug," said Kaylor, who also explained the closed session was to update the commissioners on the latest information regarding the investigation.

Prior to the closed session, Kaylor brought in his weekly list of bills and gave commissioners copies of the estimate from ServPro to clean the courthouse elevator. The estimate is $6,281. The board made no decision on the estimate.

Kaylor reported the sheriff's department had received its new truck. He said Linwood Motors honored the previous deal, and he used drug fund money to pay for the vehicle.

Haverkamp reported to the commissioners the county's general fund balance this week is $189,446 this week, and the county is current with its bill after the first disbursement of property tax money.

She told the commissioners now the original balance on the Tyler Technologies bill is just over $29,000. The county will have a new Tyler Technologies maintenance contract, which will last from November 2019 to October 2020, and the cost of it will be $13,621.

Haverkamp said the county would officially have everything paid back to Tyler Technologies in June 2020, when the last of the monthly payments of $3300 is made.

The only other item Haverkamp mentioned was the continuation of the Illinois Department of Employment Security audit. She said an auditor would be back in November to finish the 2018 audit. There was an issue with how Massac County is uploading its quarterly wage reports.

Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac had two items to discuss with the board. The first one concerned the bid opening held last week for the box culvert project on Mt. Sterling Road. He explained the lowest bid, $157,321, was about 26 percent over the engineering estimate of $125,000.

Matesevac said 80 percent of the cost will come from the township bridge fund, with the remaining local portion of 20 percent coming from the highway bridge fund.

According to an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) field engineer if the county decided to put in a bridge instead of a box culvert it would likely cost approximately $200,000.

Matesevac stated the pre-cast sections of concrete are the most expensive part of the project and the cost of the pre-cast materials has increased. He did say the water proofing of the structure, which would cost about $4,500, could be eliminated to help reduce the cost.

After hearing the details about the bid costs, a motion was made by Farmer and seconded by Brugger, accepting the low bid of $157,321 from Samron Midwest Contracting, with all members voting in favor.

The board then approved a second motion approving the resolution paying for the county's 20 percent of the cost of the project -- $32,000 -- from the county highway bridge fund.

Matesevac also told the board he wanted to have a "light conversation," about a heavy subject -- oversized and over weight loads traveling through the county.

"It happens so often, it's unbelievable," said Matesevac, who pointed out he had done some investigating and since June, IDOT had issued 230 permits for loads to travel through Massac County's road system.

"The loads are getting to the point of being ridiculous," he said.

According to Matesevac, he has turned down several requests this year and has only issued 13 permits for loads traveling through Massac County.

When IDOT has road construction projects, such as the one on Ill. 145 or the bridge replacement on Interstate 24 over Country Club Road, oversized loads are rerouted over the local road systems, and Matesevac explained it would not be IDOT paying to fix those roads when they fall apart.

IDOT charges a fee for permits, and Matesevac said Massac County does not. Matesevac said is not certain of the exact cost, but believes it is based on a sliding scale depending on how heavy the load is. If the highway department tried to charge for a permit, the highway department would have to be set up to take credit or debit cards.

Although nothing was decided Tuesday, Matesevac told the board it is a dilemma the highway department faces and if anyone had any ideas he would like to hear them.

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