County Board Finalizes Rural Transportation Package

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Published on February 19 2013 10:48 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Board Tuesday finalized a package of initiatives designed to gain state approval of a rural transportation system for the county.

The package included an ordinance for Central Illinois Public Transit to provide public transportation, an application for a grant to help fund the system, and a budget for the system.  All seven measures that were part of the package were approved 9-0 by the Board.

CIPT representative Kristi Warfel said she would have the package in the mail Wednesday afternoon.

The Board approved re-hiring Greg Koester as County Engineer.  IDOT has approved Koester for another six-year term so now the County could finalize a new agreement.  State and Federal funds combine to pay Koester's salary and expenses.

Board members amended the fiscal year budget, allowing the sheriff's department to purchase a replacement K-9 to replace a dog recently killed in an accident on the interstate.  The funds for the replacement dog will come from insurance on the dog that was killed as well as the sale of three used squad cars.  The cars were purchased with drug seizures so the money had to be used on drug prevention tools, and a new K-9 will fit the bill.  The other budget amendment involved some project swapping allowing for a $50,000 increase in expenses but a $110,000 reimbursement, meaning the County came out $60,000 ahead.

Also Tuesday, the County Board honored the St. Anthony Bellettes for their third place finish in the State Dance Team Competition, the Dieterich 7th grade boys basketball team for a second place finish at the state tournament, the Teutopolis 7th and 8th grade boys basketball teams for a state championship and a second place finish, and the Altamont 8th grade boys basketball team for a second place state finish.  The Bellettes and the Dieterich team were on hand for the presentations; the Altamont and Teutopolis teams had received their proclamations at their Welcome Home ceremonies.

The Board approved documents allowing for maintenance of elevators in County buildings; approved a computer software program for the Veterans Assistance Commission; and approved the appointments of David Budde and Larry Thies to the Ambulance Oversight Committee and Todd Hull to the Economic Development Committee.  The Board also approved 45MPH speed limits just south of Altamont and along the Teutopolis frontage road to make for a transition area heading into and out of Altamont and in the area of the new corporate buildings on the north side of Effingham.

Board members heard from Economic Development Committee Chair Dave Campbell that an applicant has completed paperwork for revolving loan funds and that action on the request could be forthcoming soon; heard from EMA Director Russ Thomas that another weather spotter class is set for Thursday, February 28 at 6:30pm; and voted to vacate Myers Subdivision to recognize changes in land ownership in the area of the almost 50-year-old development.  Board member Rob Arnold reported that the County 377 Mental Health Board has decided to allocate available funds to ARC Community Support Systems, saying the agency had experience and could document where the funds were going.