County seeks improvement with transportation program

County seeks improvement with transportation program

By JACKSON WILSON

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Macoupin County Director of Public Health Kent Tarro paid a visit to the Nov. 12 Macoupin County board meeting to give an update on the performance of the local transportation program following his addressing of minimum wage and salary issues last month. Plenty of work was still left to be done.

“We are losing some of our capacity and we need to start developing more discretion on who we’re going to take and what rules we’re going to follow,” Tarro stated Tuesday night. “We have about 10 vehicles down right now and it doesn’t take much to get 200,000 miles on one of those. Furthermore, I have four drivers that are hurt, based on what I talked about last time.”

Tarro then mentioned a proposal of nine items that he plans to discuss in detail at the Dec. 3 Public Transportation Committee meeting.

“You’re most likely going to hear some complaints because we haven’t been living up to the apporopriate needs,” Tarro said. “For better or for worse, the minimum wage is eventually going to kill us. Everyone has been given an increase in pay, but it’s not much. I’m going to stay ahead of the minimum wage. If I blinked my eyes and looked from now up until 2025, I predict that I would have 40 percent reduction in capacity. I’ve already been looking into what other downstate transportation systems do. We will be discussing this from door to door and curb to curb.”

The board accepted a trio of resolutions regarding support in applying for state of Illinois grants on courthouse repairs, State’s Attorney office participation in the appellate prosecutor program and suspension of bidders on motor fuels tax material lettings.

An enterprise zone is to be established within the city of Carlinville, Gillespie, Bunker Hill, Staunton, the Village of Royal Lakes and Macoupin County in general.

A policy statement expressing a commitment to encourage business entity development and the hiring of individuals defined as minorities, women and disabled people within this enterprise zone was also enacted.

A Macoupin County cannabis retailers’ occupation tax was additionally established along with a policy regarding drug-free workplaces on county property.

In terms of new business for the month, the board unanimously approved a intergovernmental participation agreement between the counties of Calhoun, Christian, Greene, Jersey and Montgomery for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy program, in which Todd Armour was officially appointed.

The next Macoupin County board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.