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County committee explores many topic Monday night

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Writer

(TAYLORVILLE) — The Executive, Personnel, Liquor and Legislative Committee met on Monday, May 9, 2022. A variety of topics were discussed including zoning, regulating carbon capture projects, ARPA Funds and low income housing.

A Carbon Capture Ordinance and a 6-month moratorium was discussed. States Attorney Wes Poggenpohl confirmed to the committee that the moratorium was approved.

The moratorium will prevent any building permits for such projects to be issued during the time period.

“I will remake that motion to get the 6-month moratorium in place to allow all of us to get more counsel on this,” Crozine said.

The motion to recommend to the Board that the States Attorney provides the language for the 6-month moratorium passed unanimously.

Low income housing in the county was discussed and addressed.

“This is a (Christian) county issue.” Board Chairman Matt Wells said. “We have to have an idea in our minds about how much low income housing we want in the county.”

The issue addressed was how many residents were

and were not making their payments accurately and on time. The moral dilema was on everyones mind but at the same time money is the main issue. The county just approved 45 new Low Income Houses on the west side of town. Wells compared Taylorville and Christian County’s issue to Danville.

“They brought all kinds of low income houses to Danville and they also brought all kinds of problems to Danville, Illinois,” Wells said.

A motion to opt out of the 45 low income housing units was recommended to the full county board by Ray Koonce. He said the houses should be

for Christian County residents only and Wells agreed. The motion to opt out passed unanimously.

Christian County Emergency Management Agency director Jeff Stoner, gave his updates on several topics, including a mobile weather monitoring system currently in development.

He also requested a potential safety ordinances for the event at South Fork Riders Club, Tailgate and Tallboys. The event will be from July 28 to July 30.

Last year the event only had the minimum amount of EMS at the event. Stoner and his team are working to ensure

there is more emergency services in 2022.

He addressed the issue of Mt. Auburn and Palmer having zero tornado sirens. Both are looking into a grant from the State of Illinois. The sirens are about $25,000 a piece. Stoner talked about the mock DUI crash assemblies being done throughout different high schools for the youth of the county.

“It’s not always a fun thing but it’s always a good experience for the kids and everybody involved.”

He finished with informing the board on his upcoming meeting on Thursday regarding the present and future plans for the CO-2 pipeline.

A rescind ordinance and the sheriff’s salary was discussed. A motion was passed a few weeks ago stating the Sheriff’s salary was to be 80% of the States Attorney’s salary. Should a new Sheriff be appointed after July 1 and before the election he gets the new salary. Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen provided the necessary salary information to the Committee. The motion to recommend to the full board to extend the ordinance passed unanimously.

Next on the agenda, the committee discussed possible plans for all ARPA fund requests. The request were in the form of Ordinances and first was the courthouse windows.

The committee talked about replacing the windows in the courthouse which would cost an estimated $480,000. The requests had no ordinance assigned to them, just requests at the time of the meeting. They came to the conclusion there was a need to draft the ordinance and send it to the Finance Committee.

The committee came to the same conclusion regarding the 911 request and labor cost.

“I am in the opinion that since these are not in the form of Ordinances yet we really don’t need to visit these,” said Corzine. “Finance (committee) needs to look at them, if they see fit to make the ordinance then it will come to us.”

The County Treasurer requested less than $5,000 of the ARPA funds for equipment to aid her duties.

Koonce requested funds for Safe Passage, Problem Solving and Mental Health Court. Judge Brad Paisley and Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler explained to the committee exactly what the different issues needs are.

Safe Passages is an addiction treatment program. The program is designed to get people the help they need to live the life they want free from the disease of addiction. Drug addiction is a major problem in the city of Taylorville, Christian County and the United States. If the ARPA funds are granted, they will be reserved for hotel rooms, travel expenses and anything the county may need to ensure the help can be provided at the drop of a hat. SafePassage was granted $100,000 and Problem Solving Court was granted $50,000 pending Finance Committee approval.

Chief Wheeler is meeting with Macoupin County Mental Health on May 31 to discuss possible grants. He will fill the Board in on the outcome.

A tax resolutions and delinquent taxes collection lists were approved.

Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Steve Sipes brought the Meteorological Tower Text Amendment to the committee’s attention. The ZBA made a recommendation which was brought forward in the form of an amendment to the meteorological towers section of the ordinance. It was approved and sent to the full board for approval.

“Idon’tknowiftheCounty Board can table these types of motions,” Sipes said. “Now we are going to go another month because it can’t make it on our agenda quick enough.”

Wells and Poggenpohl notified Sipes that all the Board needed to do was act on the recommendation. Since they tabled and sent the topic to the committee it was an action.

“Not that we want to kill any green projects of any kind, but health and safety is where it’s at,” Sipes said.

“Our goal is and should always be to protect the residents of Christian County,” Corzine replied.

The committee went into executive session at 8:32 p.m. to discuss personnel. They resumed 45 minutes later at 9:17 p.m. No action was taken in the closed session.

When the committee emerged, the Animal Control, Zoning and Solid Waste Departments were discussed. Koonce made a motion to separate Animal Control from the two other departments and to move the Zoning and Solid Waste departments to another room in the Courthouse.

“Mr. (Vince) Harris isn’t here, but I just want to make sure he knows we are trying to help,” Corzine said. “We want to give him a little more time to dedicate to zoning.”

Next, an Educator for Solid Waste Management was discussed. The educator would go to schools around the county to teach students about recycling. The position lacks a definitive job description. The committee needs more information and Chairman Wells will request the necessary job description moving forward. Also a job description for an inspector/ investigator was suggested.

Temporary staffing to assist the County Board’s Administrative Assistant Liz Hile was discussed. The motion was unanimously approved to let the Chairman hire an assistant for 90 days at $15 per hour with a 20- hour work week.

Discussions about the county’s personnel handbook was tabled.

The meeting adjourned at 9:34 p.m.

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