The White County Board gave the go ahead to the purchase of two new ambulances, although Chairman Don Puckett seemed to want to table the discussion for a possible special meeting to give board members more time to assess the options, but Ken Usery put the motion on the table and the board soon gave its unanimous approval. The only member not in attendance was Jakie Carter, whose mother has recently passed away. The cost for the ambulances will be around $220,000. A lower financing rate will be sought than what the seller offered.
WRUL manager JC Tinsley questioned whether the ambulance purchase was in the budget, since the board had just passed the budget earlier in the evening. Ron McAnulty stated the money would come from the contingency fund and be added to the budget later. White County residents just turned down a 1% safety tax on sales on November 3, which no doubt would have helped with the purchase.
Chris James reported that the maintenance and repairs on the current ambulances were running quite high to keep them running and that they have 300,000 miles on them. In 2018, expenses were $35,476; in 2019, $25,443.88; and in 2020, the costs so far are $44,89.53.
The September 8, 2020 White County Board Meeting was reconvened on Tuesday, November 10, at 7 p.m. 2020 with the roll call. All board members were in attendance except for Jakie Carter. The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
The board then gave its approval to the adoption of the 2021 White County budget and the 2020, Tax Levy, which is payable in 2021, for White County, Egyptian Health Department, Coleman Tri- County Services and Extension Council Service. The meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m. and the regular monthly meeting convened with roll call. The October minutes and payment of the county bills were approved.
This is the final meeting that Chairman Don Puckett will oversee. Chris Marsh read a note from Denton Aud thanking Puckett for his 10 years of service on the board and his chairmanship. Aud wrote that the the elected officials had found his board leadership a pleasure to work with and that enabled a genuine partnership with board and elected officials, making it easier for everyone to serve the citizens of White County.
The County Clerk reported a 75% turnout in the recent general election.
Puckett read a statement from Supervisor of Assessments Terry Abell about the county tax bill situation:
“I want to update the citizens of White County and the board on where we are at in the process of getting tax bills sent out. I spoke with the DOR October 30th and they are only working in office on Tuesdays and doing what they can from home. So we are still waiting. The good news is for the 1st time in 21 years, we didn't have a county wide equalization factor put on so your assessment values didn't go up unless you were reassessed or something new was added. I don't foresee a factor being put on by the DOR which will make our multiplier a one. If your tax bills go up it will be due to the tax rate. I would also like to say the treasurer's office is taking pre-payments based on last year's amount if you want to go ahead and prepay. I appreciate everyone's patience and understanding. Thank you.”
Highway Engineer Brian Ray reported that Invenergy is still on track to continue their solar farm project west of Centerville Road. They are hoping to start construction in 2023 and will be seeking approval from the board early in the coming year. Another company, Ranger Power, plans to begin work on their project in Indian Creek Township soon, but no date was given. Ranger Power will be at the December meeting to discuss their decommissioning and landscaping plans with the board.
Chris Marsh reported there were five Covid related deaths last month in the county.The next 911 meeting is on Monday at 6 p.m. Ken Usery thanked everyone for supporting him in his recent re-election.
New appointments made by the board for county drainage districts were: Gary Morris to the Mill Shoals District NO. 3 Drainage District; John L. Campbell to the Granny Tweedle Levee Drainage District; Bill Jones to the Mud Creek Drainage District;David Brown to the Hawthorne Drainage District No. 2; and Albert Walsh to the Half Moon Drainage District; Tim Barbre to the Randolph District No. 1. Their terms end on the first Tuesday in September, 2023
Ranger Power is requesting an amendment to Section F of the Commercial Solar Farms Ordinance. The ordinance initially required the solar panels to be 50 feet away from property lines, which goes to the center of township roads. Ray said the original intent was to make it 50 foot from the right of way instead, so an adjustment is needed to the ordinance. The board agreed to the amendment.
The board approved a preliminary engineering agreement, Section #20-10134-00-BR, in Phillips Road District at CR 1800 N over Crooked Creek, 1.8 miles SW of Crossville. Bridge work will start the first part of 2022.
The board also approved a State of Illinois Department of Transportation Agreement for a railway-highway grade crossing at CR 1100 N at Maunie. Ray explained the state wants to add gates to the railroad crossing at no cost to county.
The reappointment of Justin Dartt to the Egyptian Health Department Board of Directors for a 2 year term starting December 1, 2020 was approved.
The next meeting will be December 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.