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Darlene Ostendorf Appointed County Treasurer

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By Alex Haglund

Washington County has a new treasurer, Darlene Ostendorf, as of the Washington County Board meeting held on Tuesday, January 10.

Ostendorf has served as deputy treasurers for about ten years, and has worked in the treasurer’s office since 1980, when she was hired by treasurer Irene Going. She then worked for treasurers Bill Windler, Ronda Groennert and Kelly Cameron as well.

At the Washington County Board’s last meeting, Cameron tendered her resignation as treasurer following a diagnosis of early-onset dementia, and after the board accepted the resignation, Board Chairman David Meyer stated that he would appoint a new treasurer to serve in Cameron’s stead until the 2018 general election.

“We welcome you as our new treasurer,” Meyer said following the board’s approval of the appointment.

“Thank you, thank you for the appointment,” said Ostendorf. “I will try to do my very best.”

Ostendorf’s appointment was announced as effective January 14. Meyer stated that she would be officially sworn in sometime later in the week.

After being asked by board members, Ostendorf stated that she had taken a class and was seeking to familiarize herself with the county’s software program.

“If we ever go to a new tax program, it will be updated,” Ostendorf added.

Prior to her appointment, Ostendorf, accompanied by fellow deputy treasurer Natalie Lynch, gave a report for the treasurer’s department to the board, stating that with the changes in the department and Cameron’s absence prior to her resignation, the board had not received a report from the department in several months.

Lynch was appointed by the Board to be the county’s new IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) agent, “and IMRF work has been getting more time-consuming all the time,” Ostendorf said.

“The county tax bills were mailed out on September 22, 2016, with a final due date of December 16,” Ostendorf continued. She stated that the department had hired three part time employees to help with tax season.

The office has also already made three tax disbursements to the taxing districts within the county totaling $19,925,782.30, or about 90-percent of the taxes owed to the districts.

Ostendorf said that the treasurer’s department was now collecting delinquent taxes, stating that they were collecting one-and-one-half-percent interest in penalty.

The delinquent tax list will be published in The Nashville News on Wednesday, January 25, and the tax sale will be held on February 27, at 9 a.m., at the Washington County Courthouse.

The treasurer’s office also reported that they had filed liens on 23 mobile homes with delinquent tax bills in December.

“We are receiving all money from the state in a timely fashion,” Ostendorf mentioned.

Finally, Ostendorf told the board that auditors from Krehbiel and Associates had began their audit on January 9, and that she and the others working in the office were assisting them in any way they could.

Darlene Ostendorf, LEFT, was appointed as the new Washington County Treasurer at the county board meeting held on Tuesday, January 10.