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County Board Evaluates Zoning Cases

By Alex Haglund

The Washington County Board reviewed several zoning cases at their regular monthly meeting held on Tuesday, July 11 at the Washington County Courthouse.

Two of the zoning cases, Request 003-17, Bryan Kuder, and 004-17, Caitlin Harting, were both revisited after initially being on the agenda at the June meeting.

At the June meeting, the two zoning cases, which are in regards to adjacent pieces of property, were tabled. The reasons for this was that the board had received a petition from neighbors against the zoning map amendments due to them being in proximity to a timber tract used for hunting. The receipt of the official petition made it so that the vote required for the amendments to pass went from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority.

Tabling the items also gave the members of the county board a chance to examine the pieces of property in question, which board chairman David Meyer instructed them to do.
In both cases, Victor Shubert made a motion and Paul Todd seconded granting the requests as presented. A roll call vote received nine votes for and five votes against granting the motion, with board members Suedmeyer, Spenner, Muenter, Unverfehrt and Shemonic voting against the respective items.

Despite having a simple majority, the votes fell short of the 12 votes required for the items to be passed, due to the receipt of the petition.

The other zoning case brought before the board was an special use permit request from Ross Schomaker for a distillery for the production, wholesale and retail of alcoholic spirits. A motion was made by Shubert and seconded by Jeff Evans and the board approved the measure unanimously.

Financial Statement

Accountant Gary Malawy, representing Krehbiel And Associates, Washington County’s auditors, presented a statement of the county’s finances to the board.

Malawy told the board that Washington County had another clean audit, which is a good thing, but that the general fund overspent by $1-million, and money came out of the Prairie State fund in order to supplement the general fund.

The Prairie State agreement is for 10 years and the money is restricted to building improvements – and most of it was used for the construction of the Judicial Center and renovation of the Washington County Courthouse.

Now, the agreement with Prairie State will expire soon, and without that extra money, the general fund may be in trouble. The financial statement was approved by the board as presented.

Personnel

Three members of the Sheriff’s Merit Commission were nominated by personnel committee chair Shubert for reappointment. These three were John Klingenburg, Larry Garlich, and Steve Rensing.

All three were approved by the board.

Shubert also nominated two members of the Nashville Masonic Cemetery Board for reappointment. The two were Gary Reynolds and Lynwood Snyder, Both reappointments were approved by the board.

Other

After closed session, the board voted to purchase property located at 166 W. Walnut Street in Nashville at a cost of $20,000. There were nine “yes” and five “no” votes, with Todd, Eigenrauch, Barczewski, Muenter and Shemonic voting against. The motion carried.

State’s Attorney Dan Bronke’s report stated that in the past month, there was one additional criminal offender sentenced to time with the Illinois Department of Corrections (jail). There have now been eight offenders sentenced to jail time in 2017 so far.

Bronke also recorded that in the month of June, his department collected $991.99 for the State’s Attorney General Fund, $147.50 collected for the Durg Prevention Fund, and $202 collected for the Automation Fund.

County Highway Department Superintendent Mitch Burdick did not have any resolutions to bring before the board. He did tell the board that due to the state finally passing a budget, road projects for the county and the townships could proceed as planned.

The County Board’s meeting for August will be held earlier than its regular 7 p.m. start time. The board will be start a tour of the Judicial Center, County Jail and Basement Vaults at 3 p.m. on August 8, with the meeting proper to begin at 4:15 p.m. that day.

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