The Saline County Board unanimously approved a resolution submitted Thursday evening by board member Roger Craig authorizing Chairman Carey Harbison to send a letter of authority to the 9-1-1 Board and Central Dispatch directing the implementation of the fire coverage plan developed as a result of the City of Harrisburg's decision to no longer extend fire coverage outside its corporate limits.
The letter will also go to the City of Harrisburg, City of Eldorado, Village of Carrier Mills, Village of Galatia, Village of Raleigh, Village of Stonefort and Village of Equality.
As of July 1 fire coverage in Saline County, outside the Harrisburg city limits, will be the responsibility of the county and the cities and villages in the county. Until such time as a new Saline County Fire District is formed, the named cities and villages will be responsible for county fire protection. The Harrisburg City Council was anticipated to take action to alter the 911 agreement at an 8 a.m. Friday special meeting, but there was no quorum so no meeting could take place.
Illinois Statute provides the procedure to create a county fire district. That authority rests with the Circuit Court and a procedure for establishing a fire district is spelled out in the Illinois statute. It must be put to a referendum vote.
States Attorney Mike Henshaw said, "This is an agreement with the 911 Board to use other municipalities to provide fire service for the county. It authorizes the 911 Board to tone out those municipalities in the event of a fire outside the Harrisburg City limits in Saline County. We are not setting up a County Fire Protection District. Under the current rules the 911 Board would tone out the City of Harrisburg for fires. This changes that rule and gives the 911 Board the authority to change its procedures."
The Board heard a presentation from Steve Connell of Devnet Incorporated of Sycamore regarding the software and hardware used by the county to assess and collect taxes.
Connell has conducted an on site demonstration to Saline County employees of his company's software.
"We could do the tax billing for 2012," he said.
The county would save $64,000 over a four year period by switching from the current company, Man-A-Tron, to Devnet, said Connell.
"We will give you the tools to do your job," he said.
"The system we have is very antiquated," said County Treasurer Danny Ragan.
Ragan had asked Connell to give his presentation.
County Clerk Kim Buchanan said, "It's very impressive, with cost savings to the county, I think it should be considered along with other bids."
No action was taken on the matter.
In other county board business:
Julie Patera, executive director of the Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission, requested the county to sponsor a grant to fund the reconstruction of a caved in well for the Saline Valley Conservancy District. The resolution passed unanimously. Patera said she will be back next month to finalize the grant.
Page 2 of 2 - The board approved an act on construction engineering with E. Miller Engineering, Inc. for section 10-06119-00-BR, a new bridge carrying Butler Road over Brier Creek.
The board met in executive session to discuss a Soil and Management Memorandum of Understanding contract. No action was taken following the executive session.