FULTON COUNTY BOARD
May 9, 2023
Chairman Spangler called the Regular Session, May 9, 2023, meeting to order at
6:52 p.m. in Courtroom 201 at the Fulton County Courthouse in Lewistown, IL.
County Clerk Patrick J. O’Brian called the roll and found the following members present: Quorum was present. (Present-P; Absent-A) James Barclay – P, Daniel Kumer – P, Lauren Southwood – P, Barry Beck – P, BJ McCullum – A John Spangler – P, Stan Berry – P, Joe Murphy – P, Lisa Thompson – P, Jared Heller – A, Brian Platt – P, David Widger – A,
Laura Hepp Kessel – P, Ryan Sloan – P, Karl Williams – A
Elected Officials: Staci Mayall- Treasurer, Patrick O’Brian – County Clerk, Julie Russell – Supervisor of Assessment, Keith Munter – Fulton County Engineer, Justin Jochums – States Attorney, Charlene Markley – Circuit Clerk, Jon Webb – Fulton County Sheriff, Chris Helle – ESDA/ETSB Director, Tammie Denning – Clayberg Nursing Home Administrator, Austin Rhodes – Coroner
Staff – Audra Miles – Comptroller, Cindy Simpson – Fulton County Board Administrative Assistant
Guests – Mary Pollitt, Cole McDaniel – SRPED, Elaine Stone – Fulton County Farm Bureau
Media– John Froehling – Fulton Democrat
ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES
A. Regular Session –April 11, 2023
Member Berry moved to accept the minutes and place on file the regular session April 11, 2023 minutes with a second from Member Murphy. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
ADDITIONS/DELETIONS TO AGENDA
Member Southwood moved from consent, Finance i, Timeclock Plus software move to action- Finance 8. Member Platt pulled the Executive Session and 1. and 2.
Member Thompson moved to approve the amended agenda with a second from Member Beck. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
ANNOUNCEMENTS, COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE
A. 2022 Audit Report – Jeff McPherson
Jeff McPherson of Gray Hunter Stenn, stated the audit went very well. The draft audit was submitted pending a few confirmations being returned from banks, investment houses and all payments from the State of Illinois sent to Fulton County.
A single audit was done, this is done when over $750,000.00 in federal funds are spent. Additional testing was required with the additional federal funds received by Fulton County (ARPA).
The opinion is an unqualified opinion which is acceptable with general accounting principles.
The Fulton County Engineer has a big part in the audit as the engineer values the roads and infrastructure of Fulton County.
If the county spends a considerable amount on a new highway, the auditor will drive out and see and drive the highway.
The liabilities are other post-employment benefits of $19,000,000.00. This represents what the county would need in current dollars today to pay for the Health Insurance for retirees and active employees.
When the interest rate increases, the post-employment benefit liability goes down.
B. CAPSIL Governing Board
Chairman Spangler announced Glen Hamm has stepped down from the CAPSIL Board and a replacement is needed. The meetings are 6 times a year.
C. BOW Renewables – Landfill Solar Project – Andrew Weber
Andrew stated he has been in the gas and energy field for approximately 17 years. BOW Renewables is a company he started 5 years ago and is a consulting company in the solar energy field, and they develop, engineer and build solar projects. BOW is focused on public and private partnerships for solar projects. Andrew discussed and option to lease the Fulton County landfill for a solar project that could use the entire landfill.
BOW would conduct a 2 year study on the landfill and return with options for a solar project. The solar project would take approximately 2 years for the permits and EPA studies, during this time BOW would pay approximately $3,000.00 per year during the approval process. During the development stage of the solar project, BOW would pay $2,000.00 per acre per year. There would be a $50,000.00 construction bonus and a $10,000.00 scholarship for the county to give to the area schools for the duration of the solar project.
One design being considered would use approximately 35 acres of the landfill and would be an approximately 5 Mega Watt facility. The second option would be using the entire landfill space for a 20 Mega Watt facility.
Member Spangler inquired about the installation of the panels on the landfill cap and how this cannot be disturbed.
Andrew stated step one is to sign the agreement with Fulton County and to pull all the records on the landfill, and review the information on the cap. Items to be reviewed are how thick the cap is, when the landfill was closed, how much ground cover is on top of the cap. The process of creating the design to be a full comprehensive construction design with the EPA would take approximately 9 to 18 months to complete.
The goal is to have completely non penetrating construction on the landfill. All the underground lines are usually run are on top of the ground would be in enclosed piping on top of the landfill.
Andrew stated BOW has solar agreements signed with Galva and Dalzell, Illinois which are on brown field landfills.
Andrew will email additional materials to the Fulton County Board members.
D. Tornado Recovery Report – Chris Helle, ESDA Director
Chris Helle, ESDA Director, reported Table Grove is 90% restored back to normal. Bryant has a long term recovery plan in place. Planning and committee working is being done as the Salvation Army and other groups have been a vital resource for the recovery work. Director Helle stated 8 farms were impacted by the tornado and approximately 152 homes were affected and approximately 40 homes were totally destroyed.
Chris Helle, ESDA Director stated he keeps hearing from citizens asking where FEMA is, this is beyond the scope of what the county or the state can do. Helle stated for Fulton County to receive assistance from the State of Illinois, the damage needed to exceed $22 million. A SBA office will be at the St. David Village Hall. The SBA will be available from May 10 – May 24, 2023 from 9:00am – 6:00pm Monday thru Fridays and Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm. SBA allows homeowners to apply for up to $200,000.00 in low interest loans and renters can apply for assistance. From the county side responses from Elaine Stone, Executive Director of Farm Bureau was immediately on scene, Sheriff Webb, Salvation Army, Coroner’s office, Assessment Office, Highway Department, and Chairman Spangler brought out equipment. Chairman Spangler, Vice Chair Kessel and Member Thompson were immediately involved with the tornado recovery action. Chris Helle, ESDA Director stated to let him know if anyone has any question to contact him directly.
Chairman Spangler stated there has been a great efforts from many people and the community has come together at a time when it was needed. Thank you to all that have been involved.
A. Discussion/Action: Resolution: Debra Baker – Retirement
Member Platt moved to approve the resolution with a second from Member Kessel. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
PUBLIC REMARKS: None
Member Southwood moved to approve the consent agenda with a second from Member Thompson. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
a. Claims- Sheriff, Jail, Zoning, County Board, Miscellaneous, Public Defender, Merit, Property, Supervisor of Assessments, ESDA, Animal Control, Highway, VAC, Clayberg, Camping & Recreation, Spay/Neuter Program, Fulton County Public Transportation, ARPA
a. Reports- Animal Control, Treasurer, FCCRA POS Report, VAC, Zoning, 3Q SFY23 PCOM
b. Other Reports- Public Defender, State’s Attorney/Circuit Clerk, Sheriff, County Clerk
a. Resolution: Katie Batterton – Re-appointment Trustee – Astoria Fire Protection District
b. Resolution: Robert Cassel – Re-appointment Trustee – Astoria Fire Protection District
c. Resolution: Jon Branson – Appointment Trustee – Ipava Fire Protection District
d. Resolution: Ricky Stambaugh –Re-appointment Trustee- Ipava Fire Protection District
D. PROPERTY, COURTS, PUBLIC SAFETY & CAMPGROUND
a. Illinois Coroners & Medical Examiners Association – Mutual aid agreement
b. Pyrotechnics Retail Permit
E. FINANCE, INSURANCE, PERSONNEL, LEGISLATIVE
e. General Fund Transfer
f. Other Funds Transfers
g. General Fund Immediate Emergency Appropriations
i. Resolution: $50,000.00
From: #001-021-590100 Contingency Fund
To: #001-017-586000 Disaster Relief Funds Newly
h. Other Fund Immediate Emergency Appropriations
i. Resolution: Create Expenditure line item Immediate Emergency Appropriation
ARPA INT XER To CO GEN Expenses #087-143-595202 for $25,000.00 from unappropriated funds
ii. Resolution: Create Expenditure line item Immediate Emergency Appropriation
Bicentennial Expenses #001-017-586100 for $25,000.00 from unappropriated funds
i. Contract for Timeclock plus software Moved to Action Finance 8.
F. COUNTY HIGHWAY
G. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, ZONING, 200th ANNIVERSARY
Treasurer Mayall reported for April, County General expenditures were $983,970.21 and revenue was $1,266,483.07. The surplus for April is $282,512.86. The current yearly surplus in County General is $327,741.73.
The Property Taxes were mailed May 4, 2023 and the first installment is due June 9, 2023 and the 2nd installment is due September 1, 2023.
1. Discussion/Action: BOW Renewables – Landfill Solar Project – Tabled
Chairman Spangler stated there are more investigations needed with the EPA before this can be considered.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, ZONING & 200TH ANNIVERSARY
The 200th Anniversary Celebration will be held at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on September 3, 2023 from 12:00n to 9:00pm. The band “Long Hard Ride” will play from 5:00pm – 9:00pm and fireworks show will be after 9:00pm to complete the celebration.
1. Discussion/Action: Resolution: Building Permit Fees waived for Fulton County Disaster Victims of April 4, 2023 – Tabled
Member Kessel has been working with the States Attorney Jochums on an agreement and guidelines for anyone in the county that lost their homes due to the tornado.
A time line will need to be in place for the waived building permits.
Member Murphy stated the home owners insurance should pay for the building permits.
Supervisor of Assessment Julie Russell, stated citizens have been calling her office stating insurance companies are being very difficult providing funds for this disaster. This is the personal opinion of Russell, stated the county does not want to capitalize from someone else’s misfortune by charging a building permit fee for something they would have never planned on doing.
Member Kessel will bring the resolution before the board at the June 13, 2023 meeting.
2. Discussion/Action: Ordinance: Commercial Solar Energy
Member Kessel discussed the ordinances are mandated by the State of Illinois and must be approved by May 27, 2023 to be compliant.
Fulton County revised the State Ordinance received to be specific to Fulton County and comply with the State of Illinois. States Attorney Justin Jochums, Fulton County Highway Engineer Keith Munter and ESDA Director Chis Helle reviewed the ordinance and made changes specific to Fulton County. The ordinances for the commercial wind and solar were approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Member Thompson moved to approve ordinance with a second from Member Murphy. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
3. Discussion/Action: Ordinance: Commercial Wind Energy
Member Kessel moved to approve ordinance with a second from Member Southwood. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
4. Discussion/Action: Jed Rhoades petition to Rezone parcel #09-08-28-100-014 from AC to B
Member Kessel moved to approve Jed Rhoades petition to Rezone parcel #09-08-28-100-014 from AC to B with a second from Member Murphy. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
Member Murphy reported there are some property issues onsite at the Highway property and the City of Canton and Fulton County are working on the issues.
The plans from the architect have been received and are being reviewed by the Fulton County Engineer for any changes.
1. Discussion/Action: Establishing a Committee to investigate management options for the Clayberg Pulled
Member Murphy moved to pull establishing a committee to investigate management options for the Clayberg with a second from Member Beck. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
FINANCE, INSURANCE, PERSONNEL, LEGISLATIVE
1. Discussion/Action: Acceptance of FY-21-22 Audit and OPEB
Member Kessel moved to approve the FY21-22 Audit and OPEB with a second from Member Southwood. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
2. Discussion/Action: Acceptance of FY21-22 Circuit Clerk Audit
Member Thompson moved to approve the FY21-22 Circuit Clerk Audit with a second from Member Murphy. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
3. Discussion/Action: Rules of Order amendment to Article X
Member Thompson discussed the disaster declaration ends May 11, 2023. Meetings can be attended remotely with exceptions, provided that the county amends the Rules of Order.
Member Thompson stated the exceptions to attend meetings remotely are: personal illness or disability, employment purposes, or the business of the body or a family emergency. The member must contact the County Clerk before the meeting.
Member Kessel stated she is glad to have the call in option available to participate meetings when she is traveling for her job.
Member Thompson moved to approve the Rules of Order amendment to Article X with a second from Member Kessel. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
4. Discussion/Action: CEJA Energy Transition Grant $924,554.00
Cole McDaniel stated the grant is due the closure of Duck Creek and other power plants across Illinois. This grant is approving the use of funds allocation of $924,554.00. The public meeting was held at the Fulton County Board office today and the uses were discussed. The allocation of the uses needs to be approved and one of the most important is the distribution to impacted taxing districts of $170,000.00. The other uses are Community Revitalization grants $350,000.00 and Fulton County Public Facilities Improvements of $403,554.00.
Member Thompson moved to approve the CEJA Energy Transition Grant fund allocations of $924,554.00 with a second from Member Kessel. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
5. Discussion/Action: Resolution: Recall Bond for Roof Debt Certificate @ 4.5268% interest
Member Thompson stated the amendment was emailed to everyone today and the total principal is $175,000.00. Member Thompson stated this is the bond for the roof debt certificate. Funds are available to pay off the bond now and save over $22,000.00 in interest.
Member Murphy inquired if this will pay off the entire bond. Member Thompson stated yes.
Treasurer Mayall stated the roof debit certificate comes out of County General.
Mayall stated this is eliminating the county’s debt loan.
Member Thompson stated the current rate for bonds is 3.7%.
Member Thompson moved to approve the resolution with a second from Member Beck. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
6. Discussion/Action: Sheriff damaged vehicle and vehicle budget for 2023
Member Thompson discussed one of the police cars was totaled during the April 4, 2023 tornado.
The insurance company paid $21,225.00 for the vehicle. Sheriff Webb stated the Dodge Chargers are purchased from an Indiana car dealership, but the Dodge Charger will not be made after 2023 for police vehicles. Sheriff Webb reached out to different departments and agencies and most departments are changing to the Ford Interceptor and the cost is $39,985.00 plus the up fit for the vehicle which would cost approximately $13,000.00 to $15,000.00. The difference in the cost of vehicles is approximately $19,000.00.
Member Thompson moved to approve using the surplus ARPA funds of $34,000.00 for the vehicle needed for the Sheriff’s office with a second from Member Kessel. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
7. Discussion/Action: Sheriff uniforms
Member Thompson stated it has been brought to the committee’s attention the Sheriff’s office needs new uniforms. Sheriff Webb stated the current uniforms are from 3 different uniform companies. During Covid there were supply chain delays in receiving the uniforms and the uniforms are different shades of brown and the employees want all uniforms to look the same.
Member Thompson moved to approve the using the surplus ARPA funds of up to $20,000.00 for new uniforms for the Sheriff’s office with a second from Member Beck. Motion carried by roll call vote (11-0).
8. Discussion/Action: Contract for Timeclock plus software
Member Thompson discussed this item was under consent as the funds were approved for the software in 2022. The final cost and the contact were included as a formality.
Member Thompson stated the software for Timeclock plus will track sick time, vacation time and time worked. The software will be a big asset to the Treasurer’s office in helping with payroll.
Member Southwood stated she asked for information regarding the Timeclock plus software and information was provided by Member Thompson. Member Thompson and Chairman Spangler answered numerous questions regarding the Timeclock plus software. Member Southwood stated there are some parts of the software plan needing reviewed. The Sheriff’s department and how officer’s time cannot clock in the same as an employee at the courthouse. The items need to be communicated to all the departments and employees to help eliminate employee discontent. Member Southwood stated as board members everyone has responsibilities to the citizens of the county. Employees need to record time worked, vacation and sick time properly.
Member Thompson stated the software discussion started in 2021 and information was sent to all department heads. The purpose of the software is not to upset employees. This is to improve the payroll system and accurately track vacation, sick time, overtime and compensation time and the actual hours all county employees are working.
The items that need to be worked on are the department heads need to select how they want their employees to clock in and out for work every day. The Sheriff’s department needs a discussion about how the employees will clock in and out. This process will take months to accomplish. For the Treasurer’s office payroll department this will be a task. The software will make the county’s payroll department and auditor reports more efficient.
The payroll records need to be kept 3 years due to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the minimum wage laws states the time worked by employees needs to be documented.
Member Thompson stated there was a demonstration for the all department heads on the Timeclock plus software.
Member Thompson moved to approve the contract for Timeclock plus software with a second from Member Murphy. Motion carried by roll call vote (10-1) with Member Southwood voting nay.
PROPERTY, COURTS, PUBLIC SAFETY & CAMPGROUND
Member Kumer discussed a retail sale for fireworks permit was approved.
The 2 lots behind the Fulton County Board Office are being looked at to be sold to the homeowner next door. The homeowner has asked to use the lots for his children to play on.
The old animal control vehicle will be donated to the City of Lewistown for the maintenance of the flowers.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: 5 ILCS 120/2(c) (1) – (c) Exceptions. A Public body may hold closed meetings to consider the following subjects: (1) the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees. Pulled
1. Discussion/Action: Employee Personnel, Employee Discipline or Dismissal Pulled
2. Discussion/Action: RFP for Health Care Advisor Pulled
Member Kessel made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:22pm with a second from Member Murphy. The motion carried with all present voting ayes (11-0).
Patrick J. O’Brian, Fulton County Clerk &
Ex-Officio Clerk of the Fulton County Board
C E R T I F I C A T I O N:
I, John Spangler, Chairman of the Fulton County Board, State of Illinois, do hereby certify that I have examined the record of the May 9, 2023 Regular Session of the County Board of Fulton County, Illinois and find the same to be true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief, this day approve the same.
Witness this 13th day of June, 2023.
Fulton County Board Chairman