MOUNT CARROLL – All county board members were present except Shawn Picolotti at the May 2 Carroll County Board meeting at the courthouse.
The treasurer received a letter from the Illinois Department of Revenue.
“Apparently they over paid our local sales tax by $9,349.87,” explained County Treasurer Diane Powers.
She said the only information that the State could provide was that maybe a location code error with somebody’s sales tax going to Carroll County resulted in the mistake. The State will be taking back the amount in installments, deducting it from the county’s disbursements over the next five months. The first four months they will deduct $2,000. Then, in the fifth month they will deduct the remaining $1,349.87.
Powers believes the over payment happened in December of 2012. Sales tax received for that month was unusually much higher than the year prior.
Sheriff Jeff Doran was at the meeting to explain why he had asked the board to consider the resolution in support of the second amendment.
“This came about . . . a young veteran that had sent me a letter earlier in the year,” explained Doran, “regarding the federal government looking at grabbing people’s guns and all the conjecture with what might happen. He wanted to know what my take was on that. I am obviously very pro-second amendment individual.”
“But, I was waiting for the Sheriff’s Association to come out with something,” continued Doran. “And, at a conference, they finally did. 72 sheriffs were in the room and we unanimously voted to approve a proclamation that is basically like the one the county is considering today.”
“I did not get back to this young man. His name is Jacob Smith from Lanark,” said Doran. “He wrote a letter to the editor. So, I was like ‘I deserve that, where does the sheriff stand on this?’ So, I got a hold of Jacob and we moved forward with this. He couldn’t be here today. But, you know a young war veteran like that; this is something he asked us to do. And I support him 100 percent.”
Later in the meeting, the board passed the resolution unanimously.
State Adding Cost to the Transportation Program
County Administrator Mike Doty attended a meeting with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) regarding the grants that the county receives for the transportation program offered through the county senior services. The grants are monies received for the federal and state governments to provide public transportation for the county. The grants totaled a little less than $200,000 for last year’s budget.
Doty reported that the meeting was called because IDOT has identified some misuses of the funds and some incorrect reporting. He noted that Carroll County was not one of the counties in question.
According to Doty, initially, IDOT had devised a “cookie-cutter” solution that would start July 1, 2013. After a lengthy debate, with much protest from various counties, they realized that they need to reevaluate the plan and set the new deadline to January. He said this was not a federal or state legislative mandate, but an administrative mandate from IDOT.
What was presented was that every recipient of the grants would have to provide a position to monitor and review all the happenings of the program. And, they are mandating that the position would be an employee of the county. The position could be funded through the grant funds. The employee would need experience with federal grant writing and a financial background.
At the meeting, Doty proposed that, being a small county, that they could share an employee with one or more counties through intergovernmental agreements, such as they do for the Health Department. He, and representatives from other small counties, argued that this was no ordinary part-time position, given the requirements. And, it would be hard to fill if it only require a few hours per week.
IDOT is now reviewing their options and will call those that attended the meeting with their findings.
Jury Trial Expenses
The board discussed a transfer from a line item in the general fund into a checking account. The line item is to provide the circuit clerk money to pay jurors and other expenses for jury trials. The transfer was in the amount of $5,000.
“This is one item we can’t pin down when we do the budget,” stated County Board Chairman Kevin Reibel. “It depends on how many juries we have.”
The board has budgeted $12,500 for the last few years. Board member Rod Fritz mentioned if that ever runs short that they raise that line item in the budget. He recalled several times where they had gone over that amount. He would rather see them over allocate. “It’s not going to get misused,” stated Fritz. “Either there are juries or there’s not.”
Doty noted that if they did run short before the end of the year, they would have to amend the budget. “There has already been three or four jury trials, said Doty. “That’s why her checking account is low. It could be a traffic violation. It’s their right to have a jury trial and it’s our obligation to pay it. Hopefully the trend will slow down and we won’t go more than the budget.”
Clerk and Recorder’s Report
County Clerk Brian Woessner reported election canvasing was completed April 23 and sent to Springfield. He reported he received the election judges reimbursement from the State in the amount of $2,485 for the November 2012 election.
There is nothing in the federal budget for reimbursement for the 2013 consolidated election. However, the State requested the counties submit the paperwork just in case, as Woessner put it, “a miracle happens.”
Woessner also reported the tax extension will be completed Friday, May 3.
Chairman Reibel reported the statistics from the recycling event held in Carroll County in April by Jo-Carroll Solid Waste Agency. 240 vehicles from Carroll County dropped off recycling items. Another 113 vehicles from outside the county also dropped off items. In total, there were 353 vehicles which is up from 309 total in 2012.
The largest amount of items was televisions with a total of 26,657 pounds. 317 vehicles dropped off electronics. The average per person of electronics was 195 pounds.
In Other Business
Transferred $5,000 from a $12,500 line item in the general fund to a checking account so the circuit clerk can pay jurors. No board action was required for this.
County assessor’s office is preparing to start their field inspections.
Heard the County Health Department was working on their five year plan.
Appointed Bruce Lally, Les Guenzler, John Boelkens and Kevin Reibel to Jo-Carroll Solid Waste Agency.
Appointed John Huggins to Blackhawk Hills Regional Council.