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Carroll County Budget Adjustments Can Wait

By JOHN HUGGINS | For The Prairie Advocate News

MOUNT CARROLL – Several requests for budget changes came up throughout the Carroll County Board meeting held on November 1, 2012. County Board Chairman Rod Fritz noted that the budget is on display for thirty days.

“Theoretically, we can change it as long as it is in an open meeting,” Fritz stated. “So we can either change it now, and change the one on display, or we can wait and make all these changes at the next meeting.”

Board member Kevin Reibel said, “I’d just like to see all the changes made at the next meeting.” Everyone agreed and County Administrator Mike Doty compiled a list of adjustments as they came up. At the next meeting they could approve them all at once or individually, whichever the Board decides at that time.

Sheriff’s Department Report

At the previous board meeting, two bids were opened for supplying meals for the prisoners at the county jail for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. One bid was based on a flat monthly cost and the other was based on a per day per inmate rate. Sheriff Jeff Doran crunched the numbers and submitted a report with a breakdown of the number of average inmates for 2011 and 2012.

The report calculated the estimated annual costs based on those numbers. The per day per inmate bid added up to a total of $49,873 annually. Sheriff Doran recommended the board approve the monthly rate bid from Good Food Gallery, a locally owned business in Mount Carroll, which came in at $44,700. This stays the same every month, regardless of the number of inmates.

Board member Jim Anderson asked, “If there is a change in the number of inmates, does the cost stay the same?” Sheriff Doran confirmed that it did.

“So, whatever happens and we get a crime spree with 50 inmates in the jail?” asked Anderson. Doran responded, “She has to eat it, so to speak.” Laughter erupted in the courtroom.

The Board voted to approve the bid for the Good Food Gallery, who has supplied the meals for the past two years. The line item in the budget was set at $40,000. The increase in the budget amount to $44,700 was added to the list of changes to be voted on at the next meeting.

Animal Control Report

Animal Control Officer Joe Grimm was asked for an explanation of the line item appropriation in the budget. Grimm explained it was for the replacement of the inside kennels at the pound that were installed in 1994 and were already used at that time. Several of them are in need of repair.

Grimm described the difference in the new ones he received a quote for. One is that the walls would be solid as opposed to the current half wall and chain-link fence. That would eliminate the cage fighting between dogs that sometimes occur now.

“That’s not very attractive to potential adopters if that happens while they are there,” noted Grimm.

The second main difference is that the bottom between kennels is sealed. With the existing kennels, there is a gap at the floor so if they had a dog with a viral infection, it could cross contaminate others.

Highway Report

A tanker the highway crew uses has a leak. It would be costly to repair. County Highway Engineer Kevin Vandendooren found a used one for sale and requested that the line item in the budget for equipment be increased by $5,000. It was also requested that the leaking tanker be listed as surplus property because they may have a buyer for it. Doty noted a resolution would be needed to do that. So, the soonest that could be done would be on November 16 meeting.

GIS Report

GIS Technician Jeremy Hughes reported that he had completed the Carroll County Atlas Books. It is an update to the book that was printed in 1996. The books can be purchased for $15.00 each. As opposed to a plat book, this shows the location of each structure and its address. It also includes all the fire districts.

“It will be handy for use with 9-1-1 calls,” noted Hughes.

Extension Report

County Director Joe Schwamberger for University of Illinois Extension in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties was in attendance to give a financial report for his office. He gave the full report of the projected fiscal year 2013 in order to provide more transparency into the breakdown of income and expenses between the three counties.

Schwamberger also reported that the state match for the carryover went from $0.65 to $0.79. That equates to $11,400 added to the final carryover for Carroll County.

Other Business

The Board heard from County Treasurer Diane Powers that the 2012 annual sale of delinquent taxes on November 8th at 2:00 pm, in the Small Court Room of the Court House.

The Board also approved the Trustees’ Sale & Resolution.

Board member Kurt Dreger volunteered to fill the vacancy on the Foreign Trade Zone board.

Learned the Mount Carroll Post Office will remain open with reduced retail hours.