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County approved increased wages for new members

By Kendra Hennis  
The meeting of the Douglas County Board was called to order at 8:30 a.m. for a public hearing with all members present. The hearing was necessary to discuss changes from the 2020 census completed. Douglas County Clerk Judi Pollock noted that there were not many changes with the census, just some minor increases and decreases in some areas. Pollock said due to this they were not able to rearrange the districts any differently. 

During approval of items, the board approved an ordinance reappointing the county of Douglas, Illinois for the purposes of determining the size of the county board; the method by which the members of the county board are elected the method of selecting the chairman of the county board; and the method of compensating members of the county board and its chairperson. It was stated in the provisions of 55 ILCS 5/2-3002 provided that by July 1, 1971, and each ten (10) years thereafter, the County Board of each County having a population of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants and the township form of government shall reapportion its county so that each member thereof represents the same number of inhabitants. 

The ordinance further states that the County Board, to be elected in November 2022, shall consist of seven members. It says that the members of the County Board are to be elected in November 2022, shall be elected from seven single-member County Board Districts, and shall have staggered terms to be drawn by a lot of four-four-two or two-four-four terms. Section three notes that the districts from which County Board Members shall be elected in November 2022, shall be shown on an official map to be adopted by the County Board at a later date in the office of the County Clerk, in accordance with state statute. 

The ordinance further declares that the Chairperson of the County Board of Douglas County shall be elected by the members of the County Board. On compensation, it states that the members of the County Board shall be compensated on a per diem basis for attending such meeting, plus mileage. The compensation for the members of the County Board who hold a position as the subcommittee chairman shall be $125 per each assigned subcommittee meeting for attending such meeting, plus mileage. In addition to the compensation heretofore mentioned, the Chairperson of the County Board shall receive compensation on a salary basis of $5,000 annually. It was further stated that the compensation herein provided for members of the County Board and its Chairperson shall be applicable to those members of the County Board elected in November 2022, when they enter upon the duties of their office and the Chairperson of the County Board who takes office on the first Monday of December 2022, and shall remain in effect until modified by a properly adopted resolution of the County Board. 

Lottery Drawings were completed during the meeting. It was drawn that District 3, District 1, District 2, and District 7 would be on two-four-four year terms and District 5, District 4, and District 6 would be on four-four-two year terms.  

Following approvals, the board was given report on the Douglas County Health Department from Douglas County Public Liaison Colleen Lehmann. Lehmann said that they have been able to get some vaccines distributed and have been pleased with the outcome. She noted that the DCHC is continuing to hold clinics with boosters available, and that sign up is on the Douglas County Health Department website. She also said that vaccination cards should be brought to clinics when getting a booster shot, and that you should contact the health department if you need another copy. 

Lehmann further noted that the Douglas County Health Department is working on a history project to document the pandemic. They are seeking materials and testimonials to document events and people’s experiences during COVID-19. If you are interested in providing information, please contact Lehmann. More information is available on the DCHD website and Facebook page. 

Board Chairman Don Munson then explained that the board had received a request from Brian Moody for the Joint Water Agency Water Main Project. He presented the letter that stated “this project would install approximately two miles of 12-inch waterline between the 14-inch waterline west of Tuscola to the Arcola Pump Station located just east of Cabot. This new line would run in parallel to an existing 65+ year old eight-inch waterline that provides water service past Tuscola to Arcola, Cabot to West Prairie.”

“The Joint Water Agency System, an agreement between Arcola and Tuscola provides the sources of water for these three communities partners in Douglas County. This system also provides the source of water, under separate agreement, for the West Prairie system users in the county. The Joint Water Agency (Arcola and Tuscola) owns a 14-inch waterline from the Sadorus Pump Station to the Tuscola Meter Station. From the Tuscola Meter Station, an eight-inch waterline conveys water to Arcola and West Prairie.”

The letter continues “the waterlines on both sides of the eight-inch section, which this project will replace, are several decades newer than the eight-inch section which is showing signs of deterioration and reduced water flow. Currently, all users are experiencing decreased pressure and a reduction in reliable water supply. Adding a new 12-inch waterline in a parallel to the existing section between the Tuscola Meter Station and the Arcola Pump Station will improve the overall system hydraulics and improve reliable water supply and delivery to the system customers. It will also provide sufficient flow to replace a portion of Cabot’s supply currently provided by LyondellBasell, which will no longer be available due to the plant closing, thereby retaining 101 jobs.”

“The total project cost estimate is $1,353. Tuscola Chamber & Economic Development has been facilitating conversations with the various partners and is requesting Douglas County provide $1,000,000 in ARPA funding to the Joint Water Agency for the project. The Joint Water Agency members will fund the remainder of the project cost, currently projected to be $353,000. The Joint Water Agency partners also will make additional system upgrades at a cost of more than $300,000 using their own ARPA funding.” 

Munson ended by noting that he believes that this is “a good project that (they) should be taking seriously.” Moody said that most of the quoting has been completed, they just need help with funding from the board. 

Before closing, Pollock stated that they just needed final figures to complete the audit and budget. She noted that December 24 was the final date to approve the budget, so the board would need to call a special meeting before then to approve a tentative budget within the dates. The board noted that they would like to have this completed by November 29 if possible so that they would be able to approve it in an afternoon meeting. Pollock said that she would work on that she would notify the board with options.

The board also: 
* Approved the minutes of the October 20 regular board meeting.

* Approved the payments of the county’s financial obligations.

* Approved the reports of fees of county offices. 

* Approved an intergovernmental agreement for death certificate surcharge beginning January 1, 2022 until January 1, 2026. 

* Approved the reappointment of Dr. Kim Whitaker to the Douglas County Board of Health until November 30, 2024.

* Approved the reappointment of Dr. Aaron Parsons to the Douglas County Board of Health until November 30, 2024.

* Approved the payment of annual membership dues to the Illinois Association of County Board Members in the amount of $675.

* Approved the appointment of Larry Herschberger to Drainage District #5 of Bourbon No 64-L-9281 until September 2022.

* Appointed Steven L. Williams for a term until September 2023 and Philip Dauge for a term until September 2024 to Newman #5 and Huff Consolidated Drainage District 64-L-5279.

* Approved an intergovernmental agreement between Douglas County Animal Control and the Village of Atwood.

* Began discussion of the budget analysis prep with Marsh, Woodyard, Henson LLC for 2022. This will include budget analysis for 2022 budget, compiling and printing of budget and levy documents, and attendance of meetings of the Budget Committee and County Board.The discussion was tabled until the December meetings to allow for final costs to be confirmed. 

* Approved ICRMT Liability and Worker’s Compensation Package in the amount of $301,627.

* Approved the renewal of Health Alliance Medical Plan at the rate of $909 for an employee, $1,6886 for an employee and spouse, $1,513 for an employee and child, and $2,636 for a family; with employee costs covered by the county. 

* Approved the renewal of VSP Vision and Companion Dental Plan at the rate of $10.28 for an employee, $16.44 for an employee and spouse, $16.79 for an employee and child, and $27.06 for a family for vision; and the rate of $29.11 for an employee, $56.11 for an employee and spouse, $53.89  for an employee and child, and $89.80 for a family for dental.

* Approved ordinance 21-O-12 amending circuit clerk fees related to maintenance of the Douglas County Law Library fixed at $20. 

* Approved resolution 21-R-40, extending a declaration of emergency due to COVID-19. This resolution is extending the declaration of emergency proclaimed on March 18, 2020 and carried through this date, due to coronavirus disease. 

* Approved resolution 21-R-41, cancellation of appropriate certificate of purchase for parcel 04-03-11-104-006 in Camargo Township.

* Approved resolution 21-R-42, cancellation of appropriate certificate of purchase for parcel 04-03-11-104-007 in Camargo Township.

* Approved resolution 21-R-43, cancellation of appropriate certificate of purchase for parcel 04-03-11-104-010 in Murdock Township.

* Approved a $1,000 spending limit for food for the Douglas County Employee Christmas. 

* Approved resolution 21-R-44, county maintenance resolution section 22-00000-00-GM, which approved appropriating $310,625 in Motor Fuel Tax funds be approved as recommended by the Road and Bridge Subcommittee and Douglas County Engineer.

* Approved a stock pile lease agreement with Phyllis Stiehl for five years at the rate of $350 per year as recommended by the County Engineer and Road and Bridge Subcommittee. 

* Munson presented that the board had received a request from the executive director of ERBA that they would like to have a volunteer to serve on their board of directors that meets four times a year. He noted that anyone interested should contact him. 

* Adjourned until the December special meeting and regular meeting on December 15 at 9 a.m.

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