Area Found for Shimkus Office in County Office Building

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Published on December 17 2012 10:24 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County Board Chairman Jim Niemann told fellow board members Monday that space has been found for a legislative office for Congressman John Shimkus in the County Office Building.

Niemann explained that an open area on the third floor will be walled off into a two-room area for Shimkus's office.  A doorway will be created and walls will be built to accommodate the office.  Niemann said county staffers can do the renovation work.  He said Shimkus will not pay rent, but said they're working on a maintenance agreement and an agreement to cover the cost of the renovations.

Board member Jeff Simpson said he was concerned that the move was taking business away from local property owners with rental space available.  Board Vice-Chairman Dave Campbell said he had some leads that he was directing to those individuals who had been considered as a site for Shimkus' office.

Niemann said he was looking forward to having a representative of the congressman in the County Building on a regular basis, as a source for information on grants and other information beneficial to the County.

The decision will not impact other offices now located in the County Building.

In other business Monday, the County Board approved a GIS aerial photo contract with Bruce Harris and Associates.  The aerial mapping provides information helpful in the property assessment process.  The fee is dropping to $75,000 from $85,000 for the previous mapping and is to provide more detailed information.  Effingham County is one of several area counties flown by Harris, which also helps lower the contract cost.

The Board voted to seek bids on elevator service in the County Government Center until 2015.  The plan is then to seek bids on elevator service in both the Government Center and the County Building in hopes combining the work will lower the cost at both buildings.

Board members voted to amend the salary schedule for Chief Probation Officer Cheryl Meyers in compliance with the Chief Judge's ruling to raise the pay; left mileage reimbursement rates for those who use their private vehicles for County business at 50 cents; awarded bids for rock for road maintenance during the coming year for $8,000 less than last year; honored J.P. Simmons for his retirement after 20 years' service in the County Supervisor of Assessments office; and honored Avery Braunecker of Effingham High School for finishing second in the state in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle at the State Swimming and Diving Meet this fall.