Loan money going fast

One month after approving a new budget that included a significant loan from Fayette County’s capital improvement fund, a large chunk of the loan funds have been spent to cover expenses.
At Tuesday’s Fayette County Board meeting, County Treasurer Rose Hoover said that she had already transferred $500,000 of the $600,000 loan from the capital improvement fund to the general fund, and that she would be transferring the balance of the loan funds this month.
Hoover told board members that the general fund balance at the end of February was about $38,000.
One of the issues is the state’s failure to make all reimbursements to the county on schedule. Currently, reimbursements totaling about $120,000 are owed to the county’s probation department.
The county has received income and sales tax monies from the state for March, Hoover said.
“I hope we can make it through March,” she told board members.
Hoover’s update came one month after the board approved a budget that included the loan from the capital improvement fund to offset an income deficit.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the board OK’d the use of capital improvement funds for two purchases – new computer equipment for three county offices and a 16-port phone box.
The new computer hardware is being purchased for the county’s supervisor of assessments, county clerk and treasurer offices.
The board approved the purchases of the equipment totaling $30,020.20 from TVC Tech, with board member Bryce Kistler asking about the purchase being made, as stated in the purchase ordinance, from county clerk funds.
Supervisor of Assessments Cindi Lotz explained that the equipment is being purchased with capital improvement funds, and that the purchased items are replacing outdated computers that are slow, thus hampering employees’ production. “We have patched and patched (the current equipment),” Lotz said.
The items purchased include 13 computers, 26 monitors and dual monitor stands as well as a new server.
Lotz told board members that the county is currently using computers which were being leased, along with technical support, for about $65,000 a year.
In asking the board to approve the new equipment purchase, Lotz said, “That’s part of what I feel that capital improvement money is for.”
The new phone port, which is also being purchased with capital improvement funds, is needed due to the fact that new phone lines are needed, and the three phone boxes currently in operation are at their maximum, board Chairman Jeff Beckman said.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, board member Glen “Whitey” Daniels asked whether the county still has permission to store vehicles, such as ones seized by the sheriff’s office, at a building on the Fayette County Health Department property. Beckman said he was not sure whether that can still be done.
Those vehicles are currently being parked on one of the playground areas at the former Washington School, which is owned by the county, and Daniels asked about that property.
“Are we ever going to do anything with that school?” Daniels asked. “It not, sell it.”
Beckman said, “I don’t want to give it away.”
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• The board gave Sheriff Chris Smith the authority to advertise for sealed bids for the following vehicles: 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2010 and 2011 Ford Crown Victorias, 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier, 1993 Dodge Ram 1500, 2001 Ford Taurus, 2003 Dodge Stratus, three ATVs (1985 Yahama, 1988 Suzuki and 1990 Polaris) and a 1996 Yamaha motorcycle.
The Tahoe and Crown Victorias were recently used as squad cars, and the county has junk titles for the Cavalier, Ram 1500, Taurus and Stratus.
• The board approved an ordinance and intergovernmental agreement for the county’s continued participation in the CEFS public transportation program.
Prior to the vote, Nathan Nichols told board members that CEFS has purchased a new 26-passenger bus to use in Fayette County and that it has employed another part-time driver for this county.
• The board approved a resolution to reappoint Michael A. Maxey as the county engineer for a six-year term that begins on May 1.
The board then approved the county’s continued participation in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s County Engineer’s Salary Program.
Maxey told board members that through the program, the state agrees to pay half of the county engineer’s salary. For the coming year, the salary is $104,000.
• The board approved the low bid of $239,848 from Depew and Owen Builders Inc. of Centralia for the replacement of a bridge northeast of Mulberry Grove on the county line road in Bear Grove Township.
• The board accepted the resignation of District 4 board member John Blythe, who is moving out of the district. After that action, Beckman represented the county in presenting a plaque of appreciation to Blythe.
• County Jail Administrator Bryan Glidden reported that the county had recently passed the Illinois Department of Corrections’ annual jail inspection.
At the close of the meeting, board member Jenny Waggoner presented Glidden with a plaque that recognizes the county’s perfect inspection score.

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