County joins Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau

County joins Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau

CARLINVILLE (Sept. 14, 2017) – Acting on the recommendation of the Economic Development Committee, Macoupin County Board voted Tuesday to join the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Previously, Macoupin County was one of only three counties in the state that was not a member of a CVB. Being a member will help the county promote tourism of the area.

The action came in the form of a resolution of support for the CVB, and is done at no cost to the county; it was explained that the county would only have related expenses if they decided to have a brochure printed or do something else above and beyond the CVB’s typical promotional efforts.

“There’s a lot of people, a lot of tourist traffic that comes through Macoupin County,” said board member Harry Starr. “What we want to do is encourage that traffic and encourage them to stay longer in our county, spend more money, and enjoy what we have here in the county.” He emphasized the need to continue developing tourism in the county. “We appreciate everyone who comes here and wants to hang out for a while, and we need to encourage that. We need people and organizations to help guide us through that process, so essentially that’s what this is about.”

“They apply for grants every year, and if we’re in their area when they apply for a grant, they’ve got more population, more area to cover, so they may get larger grants,” said Board Chairman Mark Dragovich. He mentioned part of the CVB’s motivation for having Macoupin County join is that the CVB’s coverage area does not currently contain much of Route 66, and adding the county would give them more opportunities to promote attractions along the historic route.

The board also passed several other resolutions that had been discussed at previous meetings. One, passed on the recommendation of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, changes four of the circuit clerk’s funds to put them under the county treasurer’s control, with the treasurer and county clerk co-signing checks from those funds; it also combined the two Bond and Trust funds into one. Another resolution increases the Contractual Services budget by $15,000 to pay for maintenance of 911 street signs, while decreasing the County Administration budget by the same amount to make the increase budget-neutral. Another resolution increased the appropriation of the Police Vehicle Fund by $20,000; $15,000 of that amount will be used to purchase a new vehicle, while the other $5,000 will be a permanent transfer from that fund to the General Fund to cover part of the Purchase of New Vehicle line item in the General Fund.

Another increases the Capital Outlay budget by $2,200 to cover the cost of additional requirements from the state inspector regarding the courthouse elevator project. That resolution also amends the income tax revenue projection from $1,380,957.35 to $1,465,474 and decreases the revenue projection for the Personal Property Replacement Tax from $234,494.08 to $163,566 based on information released by the state. In all, the changes to Capital Outlay result in a revenue surplus of approximately $19,000 instead of the previously anticipated amount of roughly $8,000.

The board also approved a resolution, as it does each year, authorizing the execution and amendment of the Downstate Operating Assistance Grant Agreement, which essentially continues the county transportation program’s agreement with the state and makes Macoupin County Public Health Department Administrator Kent Tarro responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork to the state.

The final resolution approved awarded a contract to Yamnitz and Associates of Fieldon, who submitted the cheapest of six bids at $466,581.40, for the  Rinaker Road bridge project in Brushy  Mound Township. Of the total cost (which is less than the engineer’s estimate of $578,511), 80 percent will be paid by the federal government and 10 percent each ($46,658.14) by the county and the township.

Other discussion

Peggy Garrison of Macoupin County Public Health Department spoke to the board briefly regarding three upcoming programs: a six-week “Taking Charge of Your Diabetes” workshop beginning Sept. 13, the drive-through flu clinic from 2-6 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the county fairgrounds, and a cholesterol screening clinic on Sept. 25.

The board approved reports from the following meetings: full board on Aug. 8; Finance Committee on Aug. 28; Executive, Public Safety, and Environmental and Health committees on Spt. 5; Road and Bridge, General Administrative, and Economic Development committees on Sept. 6; and Building and Grounds Committee on Sept. 7.

Culvert petitions (which are split 50/50 between the county and the applicable townships) were approved as follows:  Girard #9, $15,500; Scottville #55, $6,000; Scottville #56, $38,000; Western Mound #41, $4,000; Western Mound #42, $1,450; and Western Mound #43, $1,450.

Ruth Ann Pomatto, Ralph March, Mike Barnard and Paula Robinson were re-appointed to the Public Health Board for three-year terms ending Aug. 31, 2020.

Based on recommendations from County Clerk Pete Duncan, Treasurer Ann Boehm and Assessor John Bresnan, the board approved the lower of two bids received for property tax software. The bid, from Computer Information Concepts, includes a basic software price of $32,850, a web portal for $5,535, and remote backup and disaster recovery for $2,600, for a total of $40,985 per year, with the price locked in for five years. Currently, the county pays more than $60,000 per year for the existing software, which Duncan noted is older than he is.