County Board Honors Ernest Garbe


Published on September 18 2023 6:29 pm
Last Updated on September 18 2023 6:29 pm
Written by Greg Sapp


Effingham County Board members Monday took time to recognize a former member for his half-century of service to the county.

Ernest Garbe of Dieterich served on the county board for 21 years, including service as vice chairman and chairman. He was chairman when the Effingham County Office Building opened after offices were moved from the old Courthouse. 

Garbe also is a US Navy veteran, a member of Dieterich Community Development Corporation, a past member of the Dieterich school board, and was a founding member of South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission.

A man who is still active even in his later years, Garbe stayed for a few minutes then suggested to the Board that some of those who were gathered to recognize him for receipt of the Chairman's Commendation Award needed to get back to the corn harvest, so made their exit. Member Norbert Soltwedel proposed Garbe be recognized with the award.

The Board also took time to recognize National 4-H Week and several local 4-H'ers were on hand for the presentation.


In regular business, the Board approved an amendment to the City/County Enterprise Zone, annexing three parcels of property for residential development and a lot for a feed store for FS at their location at Willow and Gordon in Effingham. 

Soltwedel voted against the annexation, saying he doesn't believe the sites marked for development will be sites for affordable housing. Other members voted for the annexations. All affected taxing bodies have to approve the annexations, as does the Illinois Department of Housing and Economic Opportunity.

Also Monday, the County Board approved a statement encouraging the development of business entities; approved the West Township and Lake Land College Decennial Committee reports, an amendment to the DevNet agreement, and appointed Curtis Stortzum to replace Troy Traub as Lucas Township Drainage District trustee. 

The Board concurred in the award of a contract to A&R Services of Urbana for improvements to the Airport Road from US Route 45 east to the entrance to Hetzel's Overland Transport for $1,042,110.80. The project will be done in conjunction with a northerly extension of Thies Avenue from John Boos and Company. That work will cost $1,463,134.85. The lowest combined bid was A&R, one of four vendors who submitted bids. All of the bids received came in over the engineer's estimate cost.

Board members also awarded a bid to Civil Design of Effingham for engineering work to replace two timber deck bridges on 100th Street in Moccasin Township. Also approved was the fiscal year audit; disbursement of $2,000 for Trade Skills and Manufacturing Day and disbursement of up to $3,600 of Childcare Research Committee Gap Scholarship ARPA funding.

The Board was reminded by County Treasurer Deb Ruholl that the deadline to pay at least the first installment of your Effingham County property tax bill will be this Friday, September 22, if you want to avoid the 1-1/2% per month penalty for late payment of your tax bill. 

A reminder, too, that work on the County Office Building roof is to begin this Thursday, September 21. County staffers are asked to park away from the building. Those paying your tax bills in person are encouraged to be mindful of that roof work.

Board member Elizabeth Huston was not present for Monday's meeting.