New county payroll system OK’d

The Fayette County Board on Tuesday approved a change in its payroll system that the county clerk believes will save the county money and “simplify” operations.
County Clerk Vicky Conder told the county board that when she was notified that First National Bank was wanting to discontinue payroll services to the county, she began shopping around for companies that could provide that service.
Harris Computer Systems, based in Texas, could provide a system that both meets the county clerk’s office, and also “go hand-in-hand” with what’s done in the county treasurer’s office, Conder said.
She said that Harris initially offered to provide the system at a cost of about $16,000, and that she negotiated the cost down to about $8,100.
That figure includes an annual maintenance fee of a little less than $1,200, and Conder said that Harris will send someone in to set up the system for her office.
“It will simplify the matter,” Conder said about using the Harris system for county payroll, including all payroll forms.
This system, Conder said, will save both time and money, telling board members that in the past, one of the office employees spent a considerable amount of time on preparing payroll.
In future years, the county will have to pay Harris only the $1,188 maintenance fee each year. In past years, the county has paid $10,000-$12,000 for payroll services annually, Conder said.
Board member Darrell Schaal supported the action, saying it will result in savings for the county in the long run.
“What the bank is charging us should more than offset what we’re paying for the system,” Schaal said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The board decided that since it is not required to go along with a state law that sets new, higher salaries for jurors, it would not do so.
Fayette County Circuit Clerk Kathy Emerick told the board that House Bill 55 sets the pay for jurors at $50 for the first day and $25 for each subsequent day. Currently, jurors here are paid $20 a day.
For a three-day trial in this county, Emerick said, the cost would increase from $1,560 to $2,650.
Emerick has $22,000 for jurors’ salaries in this year’s budget, and going with the new rates would increase the total to $31,800.
“Right now, there’s not enough money in the budget (for the current fiscal year) for the new rates,” Emerick said.
The board agreed to stick with the current salary after Emerick said that counties can decide not to go with the higher rates.
• The board approved an intergovernmental agreement with Shelby County for a bridge on Mitchell Creek, located about three miles east of Herrick.
County Engineer Michael Maxey said that the bridge is on the Fayette/Shelby county line, and that intergovernment agreements that call for the two counties to share in the cost is commonplace.
Maxey said that the cost of the bridge is estimated at $1.5 million, with each county chipping in $750,000. Each county will use $600,000 in federal monies and $150,000 in state funds.
After approving that agreement, the board approved a Local Agency Agreement for Federal Participation with the Illinois Department of Transportation for the replacement of that bridge.
• The board accepted the low bid of $211,408 from Depew and Owen Builders Inc. of Centralia for the replacement of a bridge just west of St. Peter, in Lone Grove Township on County Road 2100East.
• The board approved the reappointment of Harold Baumann and the appointment of Keith Schaal to the Fayette County Board of Review. Each will serve a two-year term that begins on June 1 and ends on May 31, 2017.
• The board OK’d the reappointment of Larry Sporleder to the Farina Fire Protection District Board of Trustees. His terms ends on the first Monday in May 2018.
• The board granted a request from County Treasurer Rose Hoover to have banks in the county accept real estate and mineral tax payments. Those approved were: First National Bank of Vandalia, Ramsey, Patoka, Mulberry Grove and Greenville; National Bank in Vandalia; Fayette County Bank in St. Elmo; Midland States Bank in Vandalia and Farina; First National Bank of Brownstown; and First State Bank of St. Peter.
• Board member Glen “Whitey” Daniels asked Vice Chairman Jeff Beckman, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Chairman Steve Knebel, if the county “could force the city (of Vandalia)” to do something about the Thrill Hill Road bridge.
That bridge, between U.S. Route 51 and Zent Drive, has been closed since last year, since a preliminary inspection determined that the bridge is unsafe for vehicular traffic.
Maxey suggested that the board’s road and bridge committee sit down with city officials to talk about the bridge.
Maxey said that while the county is not in a position to help fund the bridge project, “The opportunity is there for something to get done.”
He said that he has spoken with city Public Works Director Marlin Filer about the bridge in the past.
The board agreed with Maxey’s recommendation for a meeting with city officials.

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