Three county board committees meet
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The Executive Committee set the agenda for the monthly board meeting, to be held Tuesday, May 9. Guests will be Peggy Garrison of Macoupin County Public Health Department, as well as representatives of Honey Point Township regarding their MFT distribution. An appointment will be made to fill the unexpired county board term left vacant by the death of Bob Vojas, as well as reappointments for one seat on the Girard Fire Protection District board of trustees, two seats on the Unit 7 Fire Protection board of trustees and two seats on the Bunker Hill Fire Protection District board of trustees.
There will be an executive session to discuss contract negotiations with the unions for Sheriff’s Office and Highway Department employees. Accordingly, approval of the union contracts is also on the agenda, under new business.
Two resolutions are on the agenda: one approving the results of the oil and patch letting and one approving the execution and amendment of a Section 5311 grant agreement for the health department.
Other new business includes an amendment regarding the Emerson Airline project and the West Central Development dues for 2017. In addition, the meeting will include approval of routine items, such as meeting minutes, monthly reports, and communications.
The board will recognize members of Staunton Boy Scout Troop 34 who recently became Eagle Scouts.
Public Safety Committee
Macoupin County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Pitchford explained that the state no longer allows Enhanced 911 telephone surcharge funds to be used for maintenance of the blue E911 street signs – a cost of approximately $15,000 to $20,000 per year. The county will still receive the funds, but they cannot be used for that purpose.
The committee discussed options for how to proceed, such as having the county pay for the maintenance from another source or passing the maintenance responsibility on to the 27 townships. It was noted that some of the townships might be willing and/or able to pay for the expense, but others might opt not to do so. They discussed meeting with State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson and Emergency Telephone Systems Board Coordinator Aaron Bishop to determine what options are viable, before meeting with the township road commissioners and/or supervisors to get their input.
Pitchford also said the county has received $43,683 in funding to renew its hazard mitigation plan, which was initially created in 2010. The grant requires a $15,000 match from the county, which will come from in-kind contributions, such as approximately seven community meetings Pitchford will hold for communities that are participants in the hazard mitigation plan (as well as those that are not) to discuss projects for which hazard mitigation grant funding can be used.
In addition, Pitchford said he will need new tires for his vehicle by winter and will get prices by the next committee meeting.
The Environmental Health Committee revisited the discussion of fly ash being brought in to Crown II and III mines. Board Chairman Mark Dragovich said a FOIA request has been issued to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to get a copy of the mines’ quarterly reports so that the county can see the exact amounts of material being brought in, the source(s) of the material, and sampling data.
There was some question among committee members about when the 10-year deadline is of when the mine can no longer bring in material from external sites.
Because the committee members are still concerned about possible leaching of chemicals from the mines, they voted to offer testing of wells for residents living in a one-mile radius of the mines, at no cost to the residents. Pitchford estimated there are less than 20 households within that distance of the mines, but he will give the committee a full list.