Metropolis, IL

County General borrows from two funds to pay bills, payroll

Massac County’s commissioners had to decide Tuesday morning how to pay the unpaid bills of $156,479 and a payroll of $119,180.  In addition to those, Massac County Treasurer Dana Angelly said there is $64,000 of health insurance-related bills that would have to be approved for Mutual Medical.
Angelly told the board she could transfer $150,000 from the worker’s compensation fund and another $150,000 from the liability fund.  Last week the board had discussed liability funds to cover the expenses and payroll. Later in the meeting Angelly said the county must have both funds paid back by Dec. 31 of this year.
Originally Angelly said the county would pay $12,600 a month back to both funds.  But, later Angelly told the Planet 11 payments of $13,636 will be paid back monthly until the amounts are repaid.
Last week the board discussed the option of transferring funds from two court-related funds.  At this week’s meeting there was no mention of using those funds.
A motion was made and approved to borrow money from worker’s compensation and liability funds.
According to Angelly, delinquent property tax letters have been mailed and if people do not want their name published in the newspaper, they must pay by Friday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m.  She went on to say the delinquent tax sale will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 3.  Bidders interested in purchasing properties must pay a $250 registration fee, which will be returned to the bidders when they show up for the sale.  A delinquent tax list will appear in the Planet later this month.
After most of the regular business was conducted the board turned its attention back to the 2017 budget.  The board met last week to work on the budget, which was complete except for the coroner’s proposed budget.  The commissioners went through each item and adjusted the figures based on previous years’ budgets.
For autopsies, the coroner has budgeted $40,000.  However, according to Commission Chair Jerel Childers, Coroner Mike Hillebrand has said the autopsies for 2017 are already at $20,000.  The commissioners decided to leave it at $20,000 for the year and see where it goes.
The biggest source of concern was that of the salaries of the coroner and the deputy coroners.  In previous years the county had budgeted a total of around $14,000 for the coroner.  One previous coroner opted to use a portion of his annual salary to divide amongst two deputy coroners.
According to Hillebrand’s proposed budget, he is asking for an annual salary for himself of $12,000 and $8000 annually - or $4000 apiece - for each deputy coroner.  The commissioners had questions about the legalities of the coroner’s salary.
After a call to Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst, he showed up at the meeting and told the board the coroner’s salary would be the same as other elected officials and would have to be set six month prior to the election.
Windhorst said there is a state statute that addresses the minimum requirements concerning the coroner’s and deputies’ salaries.  He said he would research the information regarding the salaries and let the board members know what he finds out.
During the public comment, Massac County citizen Craig Lundin, addressed the board regarding the situation of the courthouse and it’s current state.  Lundin said he is a union laborer, has worked with Cache River Drainage District, and worked for almost every masonry contractor in southern Illinois and is certified and licensed in asbestos removal.
Lundin wrote down his thoughts and read them to the board and explained how he feels confident that with a budget of $125,000 he would be able waterproof the courthouse roof by using patches.
“My wife and I love this town,” he said, telling the board he is very knowledgeable, experienced and qualified to help the county with the courthouse project and expressed how he would like to see the building go from an eyesore to a spectacle.
According to Lundin, within 30 days he would be able to stop the leaks by attacking the problem areas. He also told the board his plan would involve utilizing resources the county already has and use inmates to help with the construction.
In addition, Lundin proposed involving the community by hanging plaques in honor of people who donate money to the courthouse renovation project.  He also said if there were things he could not do, he would be able to tap into his resources to get more information.  The board listened to his proposal and expressed their appreciation for his zeal and enthusiasm regarding the project.

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