It was a morning of updates when the Massac County Commission met on Tuesday, Nov. 30, which was attended in person by commission Chairman Jeff Brugger and Commissioner Jerel Childers. Commissioner Jayson Farmer was not physically present for the meeting, but listened and interacted by telephone from his home.

Residents who have not paid their property taxes have until Friday, Dec. 10, to do so.

County treasurer Jody Haverkamp said 609 certified letters concerning property taxes and mobile homes were mailed out Nov. 22-23 from Fike and Fike in Bloomington. As of Tuesday morning, there are still 477 parcels and 59 mobile homes still to be collected.

The Treasurer’s Office is accepting online payments via through Friday, Dec. 3. After that, all payments must be made at the office by cash, certified check or money order; no personal checks will be accepted. The last day to pay is Dec. 10.

The county tax sale is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.

Haverkamp was unable to attend in person because of a phone meeting with the state Comptroller’s Office and placed her report via email.

She noted the auditors will be at the courthouse Dec. 13-15.

Sheriff Chad Kaylor informed the commissioners he is in talks to get body cameras and new Tasers for the department.

He noted while the county has three years “by state statute to implement” law enforcement’s wearing of body cameras, “you can do it at any time,” so he wants to “get ahead of the curve” and begin the process now as body cameras have “become expected.”

Those discussions also include the use of cloud storage for the body camera footage, which is cheaper than hiring someone to oversee it and getting the equipment to store it on site.

He plans for deputies to start wearing the body cameras in early 2022.

Kaylor said the department was holding its annual state-required firearm certifications on Tuesday. He noted his ammunition order from the first of the year arrived two weeks ago. The ammo was needed to hold the certifications.

Kaylor said the jail had 38 inmates, including five for the Department of Corrections and six for Johnson County.

County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac was asked about the status of bridge work.

He said he spoke with the Illinois Commerce Commission on Monday concerning Country Club Road Bridge. “Before they write the agreement we need, they’re waiting on the railroad to review the plans. He said he’d have a conversation with the railroad later this week. At least I’ve had some correspondence,” Matesevac said.

The bridge is planned for the 2022 construction year, along with several other bridges in Massac County, including one on Unionville Road near the Pope County line, the one in Unionville Bottoms at the end of Long Lake and one on Waldo Church Road, “if all the reviews come through.”

Matesevac noted he is waiting for word from the Historic Preservation Society on what can be done to the 100-year-old Unionville Bottoms bridge. “If they don’t want it torn down, the only thing I know to do is to barricade it off and build a bridge right next to it,” he said. “There’s a project started on it and the applications have been submitted for IDOT review.”

Matesevac also informed commissioners he’s perplexed about the pothole-like areas on Riepe Ridge Road, past the bridge. One theory is water from nearby Seven-Mile Creek is somehow getting to the area and sinking out the road.

“It’s weird. We’ve fixed it half a dozen times, and we don’t know why it’s doing that,” he said. “It’s like a pipe is there, piping material out from under (the road) and causing a void.”

In other business:

• The council accepted the county’s workman’s compensation and property liability insurance annual renewal with Illinois County Risk Management Trust for $430,897, which is $25,566 less than last year.

• General Assistance administrator Lorie Walters informed the commission her department’s audit through the Illinois Department of Human Services came back with no findings. She received the notification on Nov. 18.

• The council was addressed by a county employee regarding insurance.

• EMA director Brian Horn informed the commissioners a 4.0 earthquake, near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, was detected on Nov. 17. He said residents in Paducah felt it.

• And, Haverkamp reported via email the county’s general fund balance is $52,404.32

The county commission’s next regular meeting will be at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14.

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