Monroe County Board Chairman Terry Liefer’s final full meeting was Monday, as Liefer prepares to retire Nov. 30 after 12 years as a county commissioner.
Newly elected State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann, circuit clerk Lisa Fallon, commissioner Vicki Koerber and coroner Bob Hill will be sworn in Dec. 1 at the courthouse.
Monroe County’s courtrooms will be brimming with new faces as state’s attorney Kris Reitz and public defender Arlie Traughber will retire at the end of the month, and assistant state’s attorneys Myron Hanna and Deborah Volmert submitted their resignations at Monday’s meeting.
County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein provided a budget update for the end of the 2016 fiscal year and FY 2017 as well. He noted the second payment period for property taxes ended Friday, checks are being deposited, and the office will begin disbursing funds by Wednesday. The commissioners made a few adjustments to next year’s budget with plans to approve it at the Dec. 5 regular meeting.
Oak Hill Administrator Kim Keckritz updated the commissioners on operations, evaluating both the census and financial situation as “very good” for the year. She noted the Medicare and Medicaid residencies are down slightly, but private pay residents have more than made up for the small decrease.
“Ten years ago as we launched Oak Hill, we hoped someday we could see results like these,” Liefer said.
“Over the financial numbers, we are seeing evaluations of superior treatment of residents,” Commissioner Delbert Wittenauer added.
Keckritz discussed two initiatives currently being implemented at Oak Hill. The first is an enhanced wireless capability for residents and staff. It includes phones integrated into the call light system and allows the use of watches with call capabilities for residents who might have trouble getting to their call buttons.
Administrators are also considering leasing software to facilitate quickly finding replacements for short-notice employee absences. The system can scan records and determine who might be available. It then contacts them to learn if they are available. The system has been shown to reduce overtime expenses at other facilities.
Finally, Holland Construction representative Mike Diehl told commissioners work on the rehabilitation facility under construction is on schedule.
Footings and concrete walls are complete, and floor slabs are being poured as plumbers finish their work. Prefabricated wall panels will start being installed by the end of the month and by Dec. 15, weather permitting, roof trusses will begin being installed. Visitors to Oak Hill are cautioned to pay attention to temporary driving obstructions.
Finally, the commissioners approved a series of annual reappointments to boards and other activities. They included: Lynden Prange, to the 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System Board; Sheila Wetzler, supervisor of general assistance; Kim Keckritz, Oak Hill Care Center administrator; Dwight Boehm as Monroe County Animal Control Administrator; Mike Fausz, 9-1-1 Coordinator, Monroe County Zoning Inspection Officer and Monroe County Mapping and Platting director; and Carla Heise as Monroe County Ambulance Service director. Reappointed to the Monroe County Assessment Board of Review were Mark Altadonna, Daniel Schumer and Marge Francois.
The next county board meeting is Dec. 5, at 8 a.m. in the courthouse. Sessions are open to the public and an agenda is posted before the meeting, at www.MonroeCountyIl.org by clicking on Quick Links the Board Agendas.