The Shelby County Board held their monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 12. One of the first items of business was a closed executive session to discuss pending litigation with the two power plants (Reliant Energy and Holland Energy) and their ongoing negotiations with their tax assessments from the county.

Board Chairman George Frazier said the county will continue to negotiate a repayment on the money the county owes on the over-assessments. The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled in the power companies’ favor. Now the county must repay close to a half million dollars plus interest.

“The power plants made a proposal for settlement, we made a counter proposal to that offer, we are engaged in negotiations to negotiate a settlement,” said Frazier.

The board was also given a copy of the tentative budget for fiscal year 2006-2007. That budget, as it stands now, would have a deficit of over $380,000.

Board member Roger Pauley requested the Budget Committee, of which he is a member, meet again to try to trim the budget. The Budget Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. Thursday to work on the budget.

Frazier told the board to take the budget home and study it line-by-line and return in August ready to vote or make recommendations.

The next item for the board was to consider putting the proposed public question regarding the Special County Retailer’s Occupation Tax for Public Safety back on the ballot in November’s General Election.

That referendum calls for a one-half percent (0.50%) increase in the sales tax raising that tax from 6.25 to 6.75. That would amount to approximately 10 cents on every $20 spent in the county. It is estimated that tax increase would generate around $400,000 that would be strictly used for law enforcement and public safety. The board voted to put this referendum on the ballot again. The voters rejected that tax increase on the March Primary ballot.

Next County Engineer Alan Spesard gave the board his Highway Department report. Spesard’s first item of business was to asked the board to approve an agreement between the state and county for the Neoga Road resurfacing The cost of that project is $980,000.

“I am hoping to get this on the September letting of the state,” said Spesard. “The financing will be eighty percent federal and twenty percent state on construction, no local funds will be used on this project.”

This was approved.

Then Spesard gave the board some updates on various projects. He said bridges in Rural and Tower High Townships were underway and should be completed shortly.

“If the weather stays as it is, they should be open for traffic in the next month,” continued Spesard.

Spesard told the board his department had a pre-job meeting with the contractor on a bridge north of Westervelt on July 13th. That bridge is currently closed.

“I will be able to inform you when construction can start after that meeting,” Spesard said.

Spesard then told the board his department had two bridges on the state letting in June. One bridge was in Lakewood Township and the other is located in Ash Grove Township. He also said the bridge located south of Westervelt is scheduled to be let on August 4th.

Zoning Administrator Chuck Stanley gave the board his report. Standey informed the board his office had issued 9 residence building permits, 3 additions to residents, 8 accessory buildings and 1 commercial building permit.

Standley also asked the board to approve a petition from Charles Mulvaney to establish a subdivision (Blair Hill Subdivision) which had been approved by the Zoning Board. This was approved.

Next was committee reports.

*Barbara Bennett. Chairperson of the Insurance Committee told the board the insurance company had sent the county a check for $168,902. That was a partial payment for the courthouse fire damage.

*Chairman Frazier gave the board a report on the Revolving Loan Fund Committee. He said the funds have been distributed to the two local projects. Frazier said he believes those projects will benefit the county. The purposed loan to Eagle Creek is still pending.

*Ralph May, Chairman of the Public Buildings Committee said the work on the main courtroom is proceeding well. The new telephones have been installed in the courthouse and are working properly.

*Robin Robertson, Chairman of the Legislative Committee told the board that committee has reviewed all closed executive sessions. He said all the closed sessions dealt with ongoing negotiations with the power companies so nothing was released.

*Chairman Frazier made the following appointments:

Don Hennings, Jr. replaces Nohl Switzer on the Planning Commission.

James Coffman and Duane Downs were appointed temporary Commissioners for the Union Drainage District #1.

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