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Board names new Solid Waste Director

Incumbents draw for terms for upcoming election

Tom Latonis

Breeze-Courier Writer (TAYLORVILLE) — The current director of the Christian County Solid Waste Department, Joe Stepping, will be retiring at the end of the month and the Christian County Board approved his replacement during their meeting on Tuesday night at the Courthouse in Taylorville. Current Zoning Officer, Vince Harris, was appointed

by Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells with a 15-1 vote to approve the appointment. Board member Venice McWard was the lone “no” vote.

Harris will apparently continue in his roll as Zoning Officer, but he will be giving up his other title as Animal Control Officer. Wells appointed Dwanna Kelmel to head up Animal Control.

In other matters, all 16 incumbent members of the Board drew for length of terms for the November, 2022 election. In the past, members drew for terms after the election was held during the reorganizational meeting. However, since County Board District lines have changed, this drawing is authorized under the state county code.

In the drawing, in District 1, Tim Carlson and Linda Curtin drew 4-year terms and Craig Corzine and Venise McWard, 2 years. District 2, Vicki McMahon and David Puccetti, 4 years and Thomas Snyder, Jr. and Ken Franklin, 2 years; District 3, Ray Koonce and Bryan Sharp, 4 years and Bev Graham and Mike Specha, 2 years; District 4: Gene Price and Chuck Smedley, 4 years and Matt Wells and Dale Livingston, 2 years.

The primary election is June 28, 2022 and the General Election is slated for Nov. 8, 2022. Candidates are now able to pick up election nomination paper work from the county clerk’s office in the Courthouse.

Christian County Supervisor of Assessments, Chad Coady, presented the Board with figures for the amount of tax money collected from the five solar electric projects in the county. During the first year of operation, he said the county receives just over $3.8 million in revenue. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean the county general fund is boosted by that amount. Cody said the majority of the money goes to the local taxing districts – schools, townships, fire districts, etc. – in the form of lower tax levies. The county would receive between $30,000 to $40,000. But the county also receives the permitting money and building permit fees.

Betty Asmussen, county treasurer, informed the Board there would be a state- wide teleconference meeting on Wednesday to discuss spending of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money which has been allocated to Christian County as well as the other 101 counties in the state. She said rules have changed recently for entities which have received less than $10 million in aid, such as Christian County. The county has been awarded $6.2 million in funding.

Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland, representing the Christian-Shelby Joint Emergency Telephone SystemsBoard(9-1-1),spoke about the need to retain employees to the system. He said there had been numerous hires which have gone through the training, get established, then move on to other better paying positions. Bland said he is afraid this is “wearing down our good, experienced personnel” and wants to avoid losing those employees.

Wells said once a proposed contract is signed between the county and FOP Unit 2 employees (jailers and dispatchers), he would welcome a meeting with the 9-1-1 Board and the Finance Committee.

A parcel of land owned by the county near Moweaqua – nearly 5 acres – was sold to an Eden man, Brian Mocks, for $5,101. A second bid was for just over $1,100.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will be asked to look at recommendations for permitting fees and regulations for Carbon Capture and Storage.

A request from Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans for $15,000 of ARPA money for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) was approved. Also approved was up to $5,000 being spent in the County Clerk’s Office four what was described as a “nest of wires” in the ceiling of the office to figure out where they run.

Engineers have looked at installing an HVAC system with HEPA filters and come up with an estimate of $500,000 plus 12% for engineering work. The item will be reviewed by the Highway, Buildings and Grounds Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m. Next meeting of the Christian County Board is Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room of the Courthouse.


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