By Alex Haglund
In addition to approving the appointment of new Washington County Treasurer Darlene Ostendorf (See ABOVE), the Washington County Board’s regular January meeting had the board hearing numerous reports and voting on a number of motions.
First to speak to the board was County Engineer and Highway Department head Mitch Burdick, who announced that Posen Road, County Highway 7, would be closed in the area approximately one-eighth mile to the east of Hickory Creek Road in Bolo Township for the replacement of a culvert.
Burdick said that the construction would begin on Tuesday, January 17, and would take approximately three days. Inclement weather could prolong the project as well. Burdick stated that affected residents and law enforcement had been notified regarding the construction.
“We have completed all 2017 MFT (Motor Fuel Tax) budgets,” Burdick told the board, speaking about the county’s own budget, as well as the budgets for the county’s townships.
Aggregate bids will be sought for those MFT funds on January 23, with bids for bituminous materials to come up the following month.
Burdick said that FS was the low bidder for the department’s annual fuel budget. They were last year’s low bidder as well.
Coroner’s Annual Report
The contents of Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger annual report were published in the January 11 edition of The Nashville News. At the Tuesday meeting, Styninger presented that report to the board.
Styninger opened with the good news first: “Last year, I told you we had six heroin deaths. In 2016, we had zero heroin deaths.”
Continuing, Styninger stated that there were five deaths that were attributed to texting and driving in 2015. In 2016, that number was also zero.
In both of these cases, Styninger credited the stepped-up enforcement activities of local law enforcement and the efforts of educators with helping to curtail those fatalities.
Despite those positives though, Styninger reported that for his department, “2016 was the biggest year on record” in terms of total cases. 2015 was a big year, Styninger said, and 2016 had 10-percent more calls than that.
Additionally, Styninger stated that, “accidental deaths were up, suicides were up, and permits for cremation were way, way up,” from previous years.
Washington County Clerk Nancy Heseman spoke with the board as well. She stated that all three county offices involved in property taxes were in consensus that they would like to seek a new tax program.
The current program is MS-DOS-based and “I know IT really doesn’t like that,” and she stated that the current program restricted the involved departments.
“We’ve had the same program for a long time,” Heseman said, “and we would like to see what is out there.”
Heseman also told the board that Coire Reel would soon be returning to the Clerk’s Department after a long military deployment.
“Local law enforcement has kept me busy,” States Attorney Daniel Bronke said to the board. “We’ve had six new felonies and seven new misdemeanors that have been filed in the last month.”
Bronke also told the board that they had two people whose cases resulted in them being sentenced to time with the department of corrections – the first an aggravated DUI, the second a plea on a charge of reckless homicide.
Washington County Sheriff Danny Bradac stated that the Washington County Jail was currently housing ten county inmates and two federal inmates.
Eric Brammeier presented the board with a contract to update and supplement the county’s codification book from Illinois Codification Services the cost for the service is $700, which the board approved. Before the approval, county zoning chief Rick Greten asked that the County’s zoning ordinance be used in the book, and not just a boilerplate ordinance in its place.
A zoning map amendment for Jerry Frederking, case 009-16, from Ag to Rural Residential was approved by the board.
A zoning map amendment for Donovan Holle, case 010-16, from Ag to Rural Residential was approved by the board.
The personnel committee had the appointment of Lawrence A. Schaff to the Washington County Board of mental health approved by the county board.
Personnel Committee Chair Vic Shubert also asked that all other committees review all of their closed session minutes and either release or destroy them. HE stated that personnel would like to see this done every six months, in January and July.