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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • County passes $15M 2013 budget

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  • The McDonough County Board on Wednesday adopted a $15.1 million budget for 2013, as well as a $5.36 million tax levy.
    The portion of the county budget that is directly controlled by the board is the general fund, which totals $5.2 million for the new year.
    "I would like to thank all the county officeholders for keeping their accounts in order," said County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer. "This budget understates our income and overstates our expenses, and this approach has served us very well in recent years."
    The board also voted to increase employee health insurance premiums. Schwerer said the cost will go up 5 percent per employee and 2.5 percent per dependent. The county pays for employee health insurance, and employees have the option to buy insurance for their dependents.
    The county will pay $786.88 per month for each employee. Employees with one dependent will pay $384.08 per month, an increase of about $3. Employees with two dependents will pay $502.47 per month.
    "Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this should keep our health plan in good standing," Schwerer said.
    McDonough County operates a self-insured health plan.
    The board also approved new two-year contracts with third party insurance administrator TPA-Mutual Medical, cost analyst Crossroads Consulting and benefit broker Pickering Insurance Services.
    At the request of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the county board approved adjusted salary payments for County Engineer Tom Hickman for the years 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2008-09. The annual amounts ranged from a low of $17.65 to a high of $373.77.
    Schwerer later explained that Hickman does not receive any additional compensation. The board actions reconcile county records with those of IDOT.
    The board OK'd appropriation of $6,000 for bridge repairs in Bethel Township. Also approved was an amended resolution for court fees to increase effective with the Dec. 1 start of the county's new fiscal year.
    New contracts were approved for the coming year with the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor Service to assist the state's attorney as needed with research and prosecution and with BJW Rental for office and laboratory space for County Coroner Eric Jameson.
    End of year budget adjustments were made in 13 county accounts.
    The board also approved end of the year account transfers totaling $550,000.
    Finance committee chair Alice Henry said most of the transfers were routine with the exception of $100,000 that was used to shore up the account the county uses to pay its contributions on behalf of employees into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
    Nearly 25 percent of the 21-member board, five members, were absent Wednesday. This caused Schwerer to quip, "Some people start celebrating Thanksgiving early it looks like."
    The board will hold a reorganizational meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, and board members elected Nov. 6 will take their seats.
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