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County hopes to access court funds to pay bills, payroll

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - Updated: 9:05 AM
Michele Longworth
Last week Massac County commissioners learned the total of unpaid bills is growing, and this Tuesday they heard the county’s general fund balance is only at $25,468, which would not cover next week’s payroll.
County Treasurer Dana Angelly told the board her office is current with the revenue received from the state and at this point all she is waiting on are the sheriff’s fees, which will not be enough to cover an estimated payroll of around $120,000.
According to Angelly, the county will receive  a faxed report from Mutual Medical later this week for checks in the amount of $8900, another for $30,000 and a third one for $23,000 — a total of $62,000 in medical bills to providers that Mutual Medical will pay.  The county will have to approve those checks and make sure the money is in the general fund before checks are mailed out next Monday.
Last week’s total of unpaid bills did not include the claims the board signed at last week’s meeting or the ones they signed Tuesday morning.
Angelly explained there is about $2000 in the courtroom security fund and $1000 in the indemnity fund.
The board inquired if the county could access the document storage and automation funds.  The automation fund has $192,000 and the document storage fund balance is $103,000, which is a combined total of $295,000.  Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst, who was at the meeting said the board would have to get approval from Massac County Judge Joe Jackson and Massac County Circuit Clerk Larry Grace.
Commission Chair Jerel Childers said after the meeting, he would go to the courthouse annex to talk to Jackson and Grace to get approval to use some of that money.
According to Windhorst, repayment of that money, if approved to be used, depends on whether the funds are used for circuit clerk office expenses or if they are loaned to the general fund.
“If the funds are loaned, they would have to be paid back,” said Windhorst.
Letters regarding delinquent real estate property have been mailed to property owners and Angelly’s office will take payments until Friday, February 10 at 1 p.m.  Property owners who fail to meet that deadline will be listed in the Metropolis Planet when the list of delinquent taxes is published.
Windhorst brought the board a resolution that would allow the board members to participate in the Illinois Mutual Retirement Fund (IMRF).  In order for the board to participate, the commissioners are expected to work at least 600 hours annually in official county business.
The resolution states that work includes attendance at board meetings, preparation for county board meetings, official county functions, meetings related to county business, meetings and communications with county employees, other elected officials and constituents.  The board approved the resolution unanimously.
Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac was at the meeting with another resolution for the board.  He explained he held a rock letting last week and the low bidder on all items was Shawnee Stone, from Cypress.  He said the rip rap #3 and #4 price stayed the same as did the chips the department buys for its oil and chip work.  Some material was up about 15 cents per ton.  The commissioners approved the resolution.
Massac County Coroner Mike Hillebrand left a copy of his proposed 2017 budget and copies were made for all the board members.  The total proposed budget for this year is $90,050, which is up from the 2016 budget of $48,441.  For many years the coroner has always been affiliated with a local funeral home, which helped to subsidize the county’s costs.  Now that the coroner is not employed with the funeral home, the amount the county will pay will increase.
The commissioners decided to meet Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. to discuss the 2017 budget, as they now have a copy of the coroner’s budget.  Commissioner Jayson Farmer said there were a few remaining questions about the county’s emergency services budget, the circuit clerk’s budget, the sheriff’s and some revenues.  The board hopes to finish preparing the budget at Wednesday’s budget meeting.
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