So far, county safe from West Nile

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The Monroe County Board heard some good news Monday regarding seasonal diseases.

Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner told county commissioners at their regular meeting that while West Nile Disease has been confirmed in Illinois as far south as Madison County, it has not yet been detected in Monroe County this year.

The disease, carried by mosquitoes, requires pools of stagnant water for them to multiply.

“Actually the amount and frequency of rain we’ve had has been good for us, as mosquitoes don’t breed in fresh or running water,” Wagner explained. “But the arrival of drier hot periods may require increased vigilance.”

He noted that even water standing in clogged building gutters offers good breeding places for the pesky bugs, and urged people to clean gutters and drain standing water where possible.

Wagner also said that the health department is waiting for information on state funding, and there are rumors that cuts of up to 25 percent may be in the offing. He assured commissioners that the health department will be able maintain services regardless.

“We have tried not to over-reach in recent years and are in a good place to keep doing necessary things,” he said.

County engineer Aaron Metzger reported his office suffered a computer server failure last week that affected other offices in the courthouse. The device, acting as a server, provided necessary functions for several other offices.  The computer that went down suffered multiple component failures, which indicated a power surge was responsible.

The commissioners directed a meeting among department heads to determine a path ahead to prevent future similar problems.

Metzger also told commissioners that his department is reviewing recently completed work on Hanover and Floraville roads. The process used is designed to penetrate aging asphalt to restore it.  Core samples will be taken to evaluate the procedure for possible future use.

Monroe County Treasurer Kevin Koenigstein told the Republic-Times that as of Monday morning, some $3 million in property taxes has come in early – about six percent of the total expected receipts of $50 million.

A bid to upgrade and implement a new website for the county was approved for award to Vision Websoft of Columbia. Commissioner Mike Kovarik said a primary requirement for the new website will be maintaining up-to-date information for public use.

“If people visit a site and find it was last updated months ago, they don’t come back,” he said.

The following appointments or reappointments were approved: Rick Roever to the Monroe County Economic Development Council and Clyde Heller, Paul Ellis, Gary Wittenauer and Rene Menard to the same council.

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