A committee looking into the possibility of bringing Enhanced 911 phone service to Fayette County residents is planning to step up their efforts this month.
Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel said after Tuesdays county board meeting that the countys E911 committee plans to meet in the near future with Mike Schabbing, the E911 coordinator in Jasper County.
At that meeting, Knebel said, Schabbing will present the committee with some estimates on establishing Enhanced 911 phone service in Fayette County. Those figures will be used to determine the monthly surcharge that residents would pay for Enhanced 911 service.
Through the service, county residents provide information about themselves, their homes and businesses to an Enhanced 911 coordinator. Also provided is pertinent medical information, such as heart conditions of family members, and information about hazardous materials on their property.
All of that information appears on the police and fire dispatchers computer screen as soon as a 911 call is received.
The Enhanced 911 issue has been on the ballot twice in Fayette County. In 1991, a $1.25 monthly surcharge was rejected by county residents, and in 1995, a referendum with a $2.50 monthly surcharge was voted down.
The E911 committee was established by Knebel earlier this year after Mike Gende of Lockport-based GenDesign told county board members that his company would like to work with the county on making the emergency phone service available to Fayette County residents.
During his presentation last November, Gende estimated that the service could be provided with a monthly surcharge of $1 per month. Schabbing told the E911 committee several months ago that he believes the surcharge would be higher than $1, but lower than what was proposed in at least one of the referendums.
Knebel, who is an Illinois State Police officer, has voiced his support for E911 service. He told county board members in March that he would like to see an E911 issue on the ballot as soon as November of this year.
At Tuesdays county board meeting, the board approved 3-percent pay increases for the countys coroner and circuit clerk in each of the next four years. Any suggested increases have to be voted on prior to the November general election.
At that election, the incumbent coroner, Republican Bruce Bowen, is being challenged by Democrat John Cearlock.
The incumbent circuit clerk, Democrat Marsha Wodtka, is not seeking re-election. Running to succeed her are Democrat Mary Sue Ruot, a longtime employee in the circuit clerks office, and Republican Nona Beckman, a retired school teacher.
The current salaries for the two county offices are $22,000 for coroner and $48,721.83 for circuit clerk.
The states attorneys position is also up for election this fall, with Democrat incumbent Steve Friedel being challenged by Independent candidate Daniel Goggin of Greenville. The states attorneys salary in each Illinois county is set by the state.
Also at Tuesdays meeting:
County Clerk and Recorder Terri D. Braun reported that the costs for the February primary election totaled $45,533.05, with the state paying $4,000 of that amount for election judges salaries. The cost per voter for that election was $8.71.
The board re-appointed Donna Chrisman of Vandalia and Vernon L. Brazle of rural Brownstown to the Fayette County Board of Review. Their new terms begin on June 1 of this year and end on May 31, 2010.
To comply with a new state law, the board approved a $5 increase for marriage licenses in the county. The cost of a license increases to $20 from $15 on June 1.
Braun explained that the money generated through the increase will be deposited by the state treasurer into Illinois Married Families Domestic Violence Fund.
The board voted to send a letter of support for FAYCO Enterprises application for a transportation capital grant. The grant would be used to purchase two lift-equipped vehicles for the transportation of FAYCO clients.
With Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Steve Koehler looking on, Knebel presented the EMA Team Member of the Year Award to volunteer Cec Mahon. The award recognizes Mahon for volunteering more than 300 hours in the past year for EMA services.