While the list of sheriff's department bills this week, was not lengthy, Massac County Sheriff Chad Kaylor told the board of commissioners at Tuesday morning's meeting he is exploring a couple of ways to potentially help bring more revenue into the detention center.
Kaylor said other jails have technology, which would allow for inmates to have video visitations via a computer monitor, but the inmate or family would have to pay for the service.
The other technology would allow inmates to text through a device, which looks similar to a cellular phone. One company Kaylor was looking at has a 10-cent charge for incoming or outgoing texts, and that revenue would go to the sheriff's department.
According to Kaylor, Randolph County has a texting service for inmates and in three days, there was a total of 58,000 text messages. Commissioner Jeff Brugger asked about monitoring of messages. Kaylor indicated the text messages would be able to be screened and employees could look for "key words."
"This project is in the early stages," said Kaylor, adding, "It is not set that we are going to install these services yet. They are available, and I am researching these options."
He told the commissioners he wants to make certain if this kind of technology were installed at the detention center, there would not be any cost up front to the county. Kaylor said there is a strong possibility the services will be coming, but at the present time he is just investigating various companies which provide the services and exploring the options.
"Many other jails are going to this type of technology. I am very interested, but not sold yet. I am definitely set on trying to do something to earn revenue that will offset having to use county general funds," said Kaylor.
In addition to leaving a list of the sheriff's department's bills, Kaylor also told to the board he is still looking at purchasing computers for the department's squad cars. He is trying to find a company which provides government discounts, and the computers he will purchase will likely be refurbished computers. The other cost involved will be the mounts for the laptops in the squad cars.
Although not on the agenda, Massac County Supervisor or Assessments Gary Hamm told the commissioners he has not received the county's final abstract yet, as it has been held up by the Illinois Department of Revenue. He said the county is still in good shape with the taxing cycle, and as soon as he receives the final abstract, he can shift information to the county clerk's office so work can begin on the tax extensions for the 2019 taxes, payable in 2020.
Hamm also encouraged the board members to check out the county's parcel mapping website: www.masssac.il.bhamaps.com, because there have been several upgrades to the mapping, at no cost to the county.
According to Hamm, all of the sales data is in the mapping system and when searching for properties, individuals will now be able to look at comparable properties. He said there are plans to be able to provide a street view of the properties and to continue to make it more interactive for users.
In other business, the board:
• Received a visit from county resident Robert Ficke and his wife, who were at the meeting briefly to express their unhappiness at the county highway's decision to close a portion of Baccus Road.
• Heard from Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac, that he will hold a public hearing regarding the closure of one-tenth of a mile or about 600 feet of Baccus Road on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. at Massac County Highway Department.
• And, unanimously approved a motion passing a resolution for the Massac County Trustee regarding the property at 4202 Rosebud Road.