The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

County Board hears from Frontier Communications

By Sally Day for the Quill

Calvin Steemer, Account Executive with Frontier Communications, was on hand for the June 11, 2013 meeting of the Henderson County Board. He had previously spoken with county officials about their individual offices and phone situations. He thanked the board and those he had already spoken with for their information and concerns with their current phone system.

Steemer displayed a digital phone from Mitel, mentioning all of the features it could offer - call transfer, caller ID, etc. He noted it was extremely user friendly.

"The key component is the cost," Steemer said. He related the cost for the phone system would be $17,297.89 and the monthly cost would be $376. This would be for 23 phone lines, with the capability to add more in the future.

He offered many features, including having a back up program, remote repairs, an "act of God" clause (i.e. lightning), a master bill and each department's listed within, and a detailed "game plan" for installation of the new phone system.

Dan West, Automation Tech, who works for the county was also on hand to ask questions.

Board member Dave Hinshaw said each department needs to audit their phone bills for personal calls. He added that any waste should be noted. He concluded by saying this would help the board make a decision on this expenditure.

The Sheriff's Department has put together a grant, which will pay for 35 percent of purchasing the new phone system, and is ready to be sent to the proper authorities.

Mark Lumbeck, board member, made a motion to table the discussion about the phone system, but noted the importance of this and asked to hold a special meeting June 20 at 8:30 a.m. to thoroughly discuss this issue. This motion passed unanimously.

In unrelated matters, Bob Peterson noted that the county had joined an organization called CIRMA, Counties of Illinois Risk Management Agency. This organization performed an audit for the county in May of 2012. Peterson then introduced Sally Bulicek, an independent contractor for CIRMA. She explained that the Board needed to form a Safety Committee, who should then compile a Safety Manual. Following last year's audit, the only Safety Manuel Bulicek found was at the Health Department. She noted that OSHA 300 Forms are logs which must be maintained in the event of recorded injuries. Any medical care which goes beyond first aid is considered for the OSHA 300 Form. Board member Lumbeck asked, "Does every department need this manual or log?" Bulicek said one person could handle all of the safety responsibilities.

Peterson said, "We have saved $40,000 since joining CIRMA." He added, "We don't take this lightly; we need to pursue this." He further added, "The Safety Manager should not be an elected official, as they come and go."

Hinshaw noted, "We are already doing a lot of this, it is just not being recorded. He (the Safety Manager) will have his hands full." Hinshaw added that data sheets on all chemicals need to be filled out. Bulicek said all of this information has to be recorded and compiled in a file. She also said that she is available for training and presentations. The board will continue to work on this situation.

In other business, the board: