After two days of budget hearings last week in preparation for creation of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, the Monroe County Commissioners had a relatively light agenda Monday morning.
Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein gave his quarterly county budget report. He said almost all county departments were operating within budget.
Koenigstein noted the deficit in the “net to date” difference between revenue and expenses is a result of property tax payments not being received.
He said all Monroe County property tax bills were sent out Friday and most residents should either have received bills in the mail already or should expect them this week.
The first due dates for taxes payable in 2022 is Nov. 4, with the second payment due Dec. 16. Payments may also be paid in full online by visiting paytaxes.us/il_monroe or by clicking the “pay taxes” link at the top of the Monroe County government website, monroecountyil.gov.
Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger also gave a report on two highway projects.
Metzger said Maeystown Road resurfacing and shoulder work was 95 percent completed, with installation of “rumble strips” the only task remaining.
He also said a funding bid for “J-turns” on Route 3 at EE Road near the Monroe County YMCA was “unsuccessful.” The J-turns would have allowed legal U-turns as an option after right turns from the EE Road and Granny Lane intersections with Route 3.
Metzger speculated the bid was not approved due to the large amount of grant applicants.
He noted the restricted crossing U-turn project at Route 3 and Hanover Road is still “in process,” as it was submitted through a different program.
Metzger said he will “see what happens” with that project and most likely re-apply for the EE Road project in next year’s cycle.
Oak Hill Administrator Shari Kruep also gave commissioners a report about the county-owned senior care and rehabilitation center in Waterloo.
Kruep said things are “going well” and the staff is “growing” at Oak Hill.
She also said about 20 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past month as well as several staff members, but none of the cases resulted in serious illness.
Kruep projected Oak Hill would end the fiscal year under budgeted revenue, but will be “better than last year.”
Kruep also reported the death of JoAnn Phillips on Sept. 14. Phillips, an LPN at Oak Hill, died as a result of injuries sustained in a vehicle crash.
“She will be very missed,” Kruep said.
Oak Hill employees have organized a GoFundMe account in Phillips’ memory to help with medical expenses in support of her husband Scott – who was also involved in the vehicle accident – and their children.
To donate, visit gofundme.com and search “Nurse JoJo.”
Two discussion items led to plans for future action. The first involved growing crowds for the Tuesday evening Queen of Hearts drawings at Outsider tavern just east of the courthouse.
While Outsider owner Donovan Melican has a current agreement with the county for use of the parking lot adjacent to his business, commissioners requested he be present at the board’s next meeting to revise the agreement to include use of the courthouse lawn.
The City of Waterloo already has plans to block traffic on Market Street from Fourth Street to First Street on Tuesday evenings to ensure safety of participants in the drawing, which is drawing ever-growing crowds as the jackpot has eclipsed $200,000.
The other item involved cemeteries on county properties. The topic was raised by a request to name a person as an “official volunteer” at Miles Cemetery.
Commissioner Vicki Koerber said she had also been contacted by a person regarding the upkeep of Martini Cemetery near the intersection of Kopp and Martini roads in rural Waterloo.
Commissioner Dennis Knobloch said that while he believed the cemetery was on privately-owned property, regulations about maintenance of cemeteries on county land should be examined at a future meeting.
The next meeting of the Monroe County Board will be at 8:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, at the Monroe County Courthouse.