MOUNT CARROLL – The Carroll County board held its regular meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2014 in the county courthouse. Board member Shawn Picolotti was absent. There was no meeting January 2.
The board approved the minutes from the December 19, 2013 meeting. They then approved paying the bills and a fund transfer.
ACA Insurance Fees
Because of the Affordable (Health) Care Act (ACA), the county and a majority of its employees will have to pay fees on top of their current premiums.
The fees are directly related to the ACA and will equate to 3.25% of the current premium, or $19.79 per employee per month. The employees’ portion will be $3.95 per month. That adds up to almost $12,000 per year.
Some of the fees are scheduled to last three years and some for eight years.
County board member Rod Fritz questioned, “What are we getting for these fees?”
County Administrator Mike Doty answered, “We don’t get anything for the fees. This is how we are paying for the Affordable Healthcare Act. The fees will go toward subsidizing those who can’t afford health insurance.”
“It’s a tax,” said Fritz, “because the Supreme Court said it was.”
At this time, it is unknown if there will be fees applied to the employees in the Carpenters Union. Their insurance cycle starts in July.
Clerk Elected President of the IACCR
County Board Chairman Kevin Reibel congratulated County Clerk Brian Woessner for being elected president of the Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders (IACCR).
“It’s nice to see Carroll County represented on a state level,” commented Reibel.
County Highway Engineer Kevin Vandendooren is out on leave for several weeks. He will be having surgery Tuesday, January 21. He is expected to be off work for several weeks after that.
Rod Fritz asked who appointed the lead worker for the highway department while Vandendooren was absent. Doty stated that Vandendooren has already appointed someone and that he was in contact with the department by phone regularly.
Several complaints had been reported after the ice storm. Vandendooren reported that due to the law, he can only have drivers out for 12 hours at a time so they will be out plowing and salting from 6 am to 6 pm.
He also informed the board that the highway department only had enough salt for eight more winter weather events. “It doesn’t matter if it is one inch or twelve inches, we are going to go through about 100 tons.”
If the county runs out, it could cost $100 per ton to purchase more. The board briefly discussed building a larger storage facility for the salt.
Chief County Assessment Officer Annette Gruhn reported that there have been 39 appeals. Deadline for appeals was January 9.
Gruhn stated this was one of the lowest volume of appeals she has had.
Board of Review hearings will be held and assessors will be out viewing properties in the next few weeks.
A member of the audience voiced a complaint that a veteran had been told by the Carroll County Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) that there were no more funds available.
Reibel stated that that can’t be. The fiscal year just started and the VAC should have plenty of funds available. Several possibilities were discussed by the board as to what may have happened. One possibility is that the person has already received benefits within the past year.
Reibel encouraged the gentleman to speak with the VAC to get some clarification.
In Other Business
- The courthouse is a no gun zone. Only law enforcement is allowed to carry guns in the building. There will be signs posted at the entrances.
- Sheriff’s Department is collecting bids for a new squad truck.
- Clark VanBuskirk was appointed Zoning Board of Appeal chairman. VanBuskirk is the longest running member of the board and has served on the ZBA since 1977.
- The Hotel / Motel Tax Board have a new tourism site for the county. The URL is visitcarrollcountyil.com.
- Doty reported Computer Dynamics had begun the cable upgrade work on the courthouse.
- Ratified a contract with the Teamsters Union for a 3% wage increase for the next three years.