County Board Tax and Finance Committee Deal w/Busy Agenda


Published on January 13 2022 5:58 pm
Last Updated on January 13 2022 5:58 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Board's Tax and Finance Commission Thursday dealt with a busy agenda.

The committee approved charges for GIS data made available to the public, but referred a request for $15,000 in funding from the Effingham Regional Growth Alliance to the Board's Economic Development Advisory Board for review.

An annual $15,000 request for funding from the Effingham City-County Committee on Aging was recommended for approval, but an adoption fee increase for Animal Control was referred to the Public Safety Committee for further review.

The fiscal year salary schedule for non-union employees was recommended for approval, as was the fiscal year mileage reimbursement rate of 58.5 cents.

There was discussion about how capital improvement funds should be allocated. There was agreement to move $95,000 in contingency funds to the capital improvement fund. Also discussed was how Federal ARPA funds should be used. One suggestion from Sheriff Paul Kuhns was construction of office space so all of the first floor space in the County Office Building could be utilized by the county jail. Board member John Perry wondered whether an earlier discussion should be revived about construction of a jail on the exterior of the office building in case of another breakdown of the current elevator that was out of commission for extended periods of time in the past couple of years. Work on the building's roof and the cooling towers for the office building were also suggested. 

The committee discussed amending the county board by-laws to allow teleconferences or Zoom meetings. There are opinions that if a meeting is being held, a board member should be there in person. Others think there is room to allow participation remotely in certain cases.

County Board Chairman Jim Niemann reported that State's Attorney Bryan Kibler has begun work on the 911 ambulance service contract with Rural Med. Sheriff Kuhns asked for input from him and City Police Chief Jason McFarland in the development of the contract, since their departments are involved in the dispatching of 911 calls.

Niemann also reported that he needs individuals to serve on the Board's Ethics Committee.