Property tax bills mailed out

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Property tax bills were mailed out to residents Friday, the Monroe County Board was told during its Monday morning meeting.

This year, Monroe County is on track to collect about $50 million from these taxes, which support local schools, road districts and municipalities, as well as the county.

Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein said this is the first year the county has used a contractor — MAR Graphics in Valmeyer — to print and send out bills.  Koenigstein also noted that with bonds for the old nursing home, new courthouse and annex buildings being paid off, both tax rates and actual amounts are down slightly for the county portion of the tax bill.

First payments are due by Friday, July 11, with the second installment due Friday, Sept. 12. Bills can be paid at local banks, at the treasurer’s office in the courthouse, or by mail.  For more information, call 939-8681, ext. 213.

In other news from Monday, it was learned that Dan Row, longtime county animal control officer and building inspector, has retired from full-time employment.

Chris Voelker will step in as the new building inspector, and Eric Allscheid will assume duties as animal control officer. They will also perform additional maintenance work.  Row, who was praised by Monroe County Board Chairman Delbert Wittenauer for his hard work over the years,

will continue part-time work as animal control officer on weekends and vacations.

Oak Hill Director Kim Keckritz said revenues are slightly above budget for the elder care facility, while expenses are similarly lower than predicted.  She also reported positive health impacts being seen among residents, as the walking trail and landscaping improvements are building a cheerier atmosphere.

Oak Hill is also exploring developing garden boxes along the trail to be tended by residents interested in such activities, she said.

Monroe County Ambulance Director Carla Heise reported consistent demand for services and requested approval of charges for two services. The fee for record searches was approved to rise from $25 to $40.  Also, the county was requested for the first time to transport a deceased person and will now charge $250 for that – on an as available basis.

Heise confirmed also that Medicare compliance regulations protecting patient confidentiality will require that the ambulance service replace all of its computers by the end of the year. Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP operating systems. This and the ages of the computers in question will require upgrades or replacement, with the latter being assessed as more prudent.

Finally, James Hill of Fults was appointed to the Tourism Bureau of Southwestern Illinois and Darrell Gaitsch was reappointed to the Monroe County Electrical Board.

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