County board approves intergovernmental agreement with city

By Michele Longworth

• Two circuit clerk applicants interviewed 

By Michele Longworth

Planet Reporter

reporter@metroolisplanet.com

Massac County commissioners are one step closer toward getting a new roof on the courthouse, as Commissioners Jerel Childers and Jayson Farmer approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Metropolis for maintenance and repair of the courthouse.

Patrick Windhorst, Massac County state’s attorney, presented the board with copies of the agreement.  The Metropolis City Council had previously approved an ordinance and intergovernmental agreement to assist the county with renovation and repair of the courthouse.

The agreement states the amount will be $150,000 and may be used for the roof, tuckpointing, repairing of the joints or for windows.

According to Windhorst, the agreement also stipulates the county must provide paid invoices to the city in order to receive reimbursement.  

Another requirement in the agreement is the county has 90 days to begin the bidding process.

Before passing the agreement Commission Chair Childers indicated he wanted to wait until next Tuesday, so Commissioner Jeff Weber could be present.  However, Farmer said the commissioners were aware of the details of the agreement.  Childers decided the board would take action at the meeting.

In the absence of Massac County Treasurer Dana Angelly, Deputy Treasurer Judy Fitch brought the board its weekly financial report, which shows a county general fund balance of $46,336 after payroll.

Massac County Clerk Juanita Wedeking-Newberry told the commissioners the money to pay for the election judges and rent for polling places needs to be paid.  The total cost was over $17,000.

Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder brought his list of bills to the commissioners and pointed out two large expenditures, one for $2282 for the U.S. Marshals service to pick up a prisoner in California that had to be extradited to Massac County.

The other large ticket item was for a new vehicle — a 4x4 Dodge Durango.  Holder said he has placed the order for the new vehicle, which will take about two months to receive it.  He said he had to order it now because if he would have waited, then the vehicle could not have been paid from this year’s budget.

The cost of the new vehicle is $30,600, and Holder said he took $600 from the police vehicle fund.  Childers asked if the department has any spare vehicles.  Holder explained currently there are no spare vehicles.  However when he receives this vehicle, they will be able to take one vehicle out of the fleet to have as a spare.

Holder had left the meeting but returned a short time later to inform Childers and Farmer that Norris Story had been to the Courthouse Annex to spray for bugs and during the visit, he and Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor Marcia McCutcheon had discovered termites and one termite had been captured. Farmer said he would call Story to discuss the problem.

Also visiting the meeting was Matt Donkin, regional superintendent of schools, who brought more news about maintenance problems to the commissioners.  Donkin said the building the regional office occupies on West 10th Street, has five furnace and air conditioning units and one unit, which is in the ceiling, is problematic.

Donkin also said the duct work is heating up and the fire department was called to the building last week.  According to Donkin, the unit provides heat and air conditioning and currently the whole unit has been shut off.  He found out Gurley and Sons installed the unit in 2012.

Childers will call Gurley and Sons to find out if there is a warranty still in effect on the unit.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Childers and Farmer held two brief closed sessions - one at 10 a.m. and another at 10:24 a.m. to meet with two candidates regarding the replacement of a public official.  Earlier this month Massac County Circuit Clerk Larry Grace resigned from his office in an official letter to the board.  His last day is scheduled for Friday, May 5.  His resignation comes after being re-elected to another term in the November 2016 general election.

Massac County Republican Chairman Samuel Stratemeyer’s recommendation to Childers is Michael Kerley of Metropolis.  The only other candidate who applied for the job was Sandra Reipe, a current Deputy Circuit Clerk in Grace’s office.

Following the interviews, no action was taken by Childers to appoint a new circuit clerk.

In other business:

• Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac said an insurance adjuster had looked at an excavator that had caught on fire.  He also brought copies of an engineering service agreement for a bridge on Portland Road, near Lafarge, that will be replaced in 2021.  He said the agreement is typical of previous agreements like this and will allow him to hire Roundtable Designs to begin the design work for the bridge, which has a wooden deck and piling.  The commissioners approved the engineering agreement as it was presented.

• Bill Gower, of Gower Insurance Agency visited the meeting to discuss the county’s need for a cyber liability policy.  Gower said after taking several classes regarding the topic, there is a need for businesses and governments to keep their secure information protected.  He left applications for each county department to fill out concerning how their data is handled so that his office will be able to develop a cyber liability policy tailored to the county’s needs.