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County Finance Committee discusses ARPA funds

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Writer

CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The Audit, Finance and Purchasing Committee of the Christian County Board met at the Christian Courthouse on Wednesday, Jan. 11. This concluded the committee meetings for the first month of 2023. With Chairman Venise McWard and all members, excluding Vicki McMahon, present.

The agenda for the meeting was relatively short with the only item being “referrals from other committees”.

The first referral discussed was the Health Department parking lot repairs. Advanced Eye Car, the neighboring business, has agreed to split the cost of the repairs. A motion to recommend to the full board to grant the department funds not to exceed $5,000.

The next item was in regards to Christian County Animal Control and the implementations of a power gate opener at the facility. Currently, there is a large manual gate which the committee agreed could be seen as an injury risk. However, there was no motion made to recommend the installation of the new gate.

The Courthouse was approved for new carpet on the stairs and an office on the third floor. Neikes Floor Covering provided the bid and will handle the installation. The approved bid was for $13,500.

Courthouse security and the replacement of a metal detector and x-ray machine was discussed. These devises at the public entrance of the building is seeing a decline due to age (1987) and constant usage. Christian County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Jim Baker presented the committee with the specs for the purchase of new system from Astrophysics, a company located out of Salt Lake City, Utah. The members expressed the importance of the welfare of the County and its workers.

“I look at this as a public safety issue,” Ken Franklin said making the motion to recommend the purchase. “We are looking to have more events here at the Courthouse and not only are our employees but members of the public that come in.”

The motion was approved and cost is not to exceed $28,770.

Meals on Wheels is seeking one year of financial assistance from the county. The committee discussed providing the funds. The members found common ground and agreed the ARPA funds are limited.

“Typically, the board has looked at the ARPA funds as a one-time capital improvements items,” Franklin said. “I think we’ve pretty much held line on that and not approved things that are ongoing. It’s a great program. Im glad it’s there but I don’t think thats how the board has used ARPA funds in the past.”

There was no action taken on the request.

The Senior Citizen Center request for two new vehicles for public transportation was discussed and unanimously approved to send to the full board for consideration. It allows the Senior Center to purchase two new vans for an amount not to exceed $125,000.

The committee approved the continuation of temporary staff for records management. The temporary assistant comes with a price tag not to exceed $6,500.

County Board Chairman Bryan Sharp informed the committee of the upcoming seat appointment which will likely to happen this month. A candidate is needed to replace District Four representative Matt Wells who resigned last month.

The meeting adjourned at 7:22 p.m.

The monthly meeting of the Christian County Board takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Courthouse in Taylorville.

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