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Douglas County Board approves FY 2021 audit; budget, appropriations, and levies

By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Douglas County Board was called to order at 9 a.m. on December 15 with all members present. 

It was buisness as usual at the meeting, the board began with the approval of the consent agenda and numerous resolutions. The board then heard from auditor Curtis Root from Larson, Woodyard, and Henson LLC on the 2021 Audit for the county. Root noted that 2021 was a “challenging year” and that there were some changes that needed to be addressed and made. He stated that he has talked to all of the departments about the records that needed to be kept to make that process easier. Root also mentioned that he was awaiting some information from the Health Department due to some changes in funding over the year. He explained that the role of the auditor is not to make the final determination, but just to review it and try to find items that may be of concern. Root concluded that once the comments from the Health Department are received that the audit will be submitted. 

The board then moved to subcommittee reports, with Board President Don Munson noting that minutes from the meetings are available in the board packet on the website. He followed by stating that the Douglas County Board had received a request for funds from the City of Newman to upgrade their water service facility and refurbish their water tower. He said that the board was drafting an agreement that would be voted on at a later meeting. 

Health Department Administrator Amanda Minor then presented to the board. She stated that COVID cases are rising in Douglas County, and to please stay home if you are feeling sick. Minor also discussed that the Health Department would be switching to saliva testing, with PCR and rapid tests still available; and that the Health Department will soon only be conducting testing by appointment only. Appointments can be made at http://dchealthdept.org/. 

The board also: 
* Approved the November 17 regular board meeting and November 29 special board meeting minutes.

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

* Approved the reports of fees of county offices.

* Approved Ordinance 21-O-15 adopting county board districts map.

* Approved Resolution 21-R-26 approving budget, appropriations, and levies for FY 2022. The ordinance states “The County Board finds the Annual Budget, Appropriations, and Lax Levies Bill, as recited and articulated herein, prepared in compliance and in the manner prescribed by law, to be the sums of money as set forth to be necessary appropriations of and for the County of Douglas, Illinois, for the year of January 1, 2022 and to end December 31, 2022; and whereas the County Board finds the specific amounts for the individual annual tax levies to be as follows: County Tax – $1,301,000, Tort Immunity Tax – $865,000, County Highway Tax – $482,000, County Bridges Tax – $241,000, Federal Aid Matching Tax – $241,000, IMFR County Retirement Tax – $200,000, Tuberculosis Tax – $0, Board of Heath Fund $482,000, Extension Education Program Tax – $60,000, Veterans Assistance Tax – $0, Unemployment Compensation Insurance Tax – $0, Workmen’s Compensation Insurance Tax – $60,000, and Social Security Tax – $250,000; totaling $4,182,000.” It further states “The monies received by the County Treasurer from taxes, and other revenues, for the use of Douglas County within the Fiscal Year beginning January 1, 2022, the following sums of money as set forth herein, be and the same are hereby appropriated for the County’s purposes in and for the the Fiscal Year beginning January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022. Adjustments will be made as necessary and approved monthly at the full County Board Meeting and published within those monthly minutes.”

* Approved Ordinance 21-O-16 authorizing an amendment to the Douglas County Budget FY 2021. The ordinance was necessary because “the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in Animal Control including expenses of $12,900 for salary, professional services, food and other expenses; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in the Law Library including expenses of $14,000 for publications; the Fiscal Year Budget did not include unexpected expenses in the Jail Operations including expenses of $87,000 for building maintenance, telephone, utilities, gas/fuel and medical care; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses for the Sheriff including expenses of $103,400 for Juror/Bailiff salary, TC/Dispatcher salary, training, electronic equipment, uniforms and vehicle purposes; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses for the Public Defender including expenses of $5,500 for office supplies; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in Recorder’s Automation including expenses of $15,000 for leasing and other equipment expenses; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in the Recorder’s Automation including expenses of $15,000 for leasing and other equipment; the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in Court Security including expense of $1,500 for salary; and the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget did not include unexpected expenses in Health including expenses of $194,000 for utilities/telephone, utilities/water, mileage expenses, postage, contractual obligations, and supplies.”

* Approved Ordinance 21-O-17 establishing a risk management plan for FY 2022.

* Approved Resolution 21-R-47 authorizing the assistance of the state’s attorneys appellate prosecutor to the County State’s Attorney.

* Approved Resolution 21-R-48 authorizing an extension of emergency due to COVID-19 in Douglas County. 

* Approved the appointment of Tamara S. Hemrick to Brushy Fork Drainage District No 64-L-712.

* Approved the renewal of public defender contract with Jeannine Garrett.

* Approved the reappointment of Dr. Ruggeri to the Board of Health. 

* Approved Resolution 21-R-49 dissolving the standing committee to oversee the management of technology resources. In the Resolution, it states “a standing committee focused on technological management would only unnecessarily duplicate the technological management already in place and is not in the best interest of the County’s efficient use of time and management.” 

* Approved authorizing the County Clerk to close out FY 2021.

* Approved increasing the county credit card limit to $7,500.

* Approved Resolution 21-R-50 moving CURES money to 096 Capital Additions Fund. The resolution reads, “The finds of $255,067 contained in the County General Fund Year 2021 shall be reappropriated into said secure capital project account. Be it further authorized that prior to the use of the capital project account created herein, the Douglas County Board shall develop both a revenue and expense for such use, and further that any such use be approved by the Douglas County Board in open meeting.” It was noted that at this time they are considering use of the funds for necessary upgrades at the Highway Department. 

* Announced the resignation of Josh Taylor Thomas from the Douglas County Regional Workplace Center. Taylor Thomas thanked the board and community for making him feel so welcome. He noted that the Regional Workplace Center will continue to service Douglas County and that a new case worker should be assigned soon. 

* Adjourned at 10:37 a.m. until the January 19 meeting at 9 a.m.

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