The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Hancock County Board Holds Busy April 13th Meeting

Delbert Kreps call the Hancock County Board to order on April 13th at 6:30 p.m. with an invocation and County Clerk Kerry Asbridge led in the, Pledge of Allegiance.

In her report, Amy McAllister, Administrator of the Hancock County Health Department summarized the operations of the health department as follows:

1. The dental center has existed for 10 years.

2. The department does some environmental enforcement and issues permits.

3. The department issues food service permits and license, and performs inspections.

4. Septic systems are inspected and wells are tested. Applicable permits are issued.

5. The department licenses tanning beds.

6. Diagnostics cover many areas, including breast cancer screening.

7. Prevention activities include ending cigarette smoking.

8. The department administers the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

9. The department serves as the tuberculosis board for Hancock County.

10. The department has less than 35 full time and part time employees.

John Schwartz, representing the Carthage Industrial Development Corporation, said the entity hopes to secure a roadway easement across the east side of the current ambulance property (formerly owned by Keith Bachman and Mike Tracy) to address a new industrial/commercial subdivision on the east side of Carthage. The subdivision is immediately south of the ambulance property on U. S. 136. Mr. Schwartz said direct access to U. S. 136 is very beneficial to the subdivision.

Several county board members pointed out Hancock County needs to connect the ambulance building to city sewer service. There was discussion of a possible three-way deal between the City of Carthage, the Carthage Industrial Development Corporation, and Hancock County

John Massie, Hancock Public Building Commissioner, introduced Brian Frericks with QFB Energy. Mr. Frericks and his brother own an energy broker business, and have many municipal clients. The Hancock Public Building Commission, which has title to the Hancock County Jail and Courthouse, has contracted with QFB Energy at a rate of $.05252 per kilowatt hour. Other county properties may be eligible for the rate.

Jack Curfman of the Hancock County ESDA said Illinois law requires licensed livestock facilities to provide information to the county ESDA. The information is useful in case an emergency situation occurs at a livestock facility,. Mr. Curfman said he will be sending letters to the livestock facilities explaining the request.

Kaboom Fireworks owners Dustin and Abby Wolgemuth said they hoped to open a business to sell consumer fireworks in Niota. They operate a similar business in Gulfport. Niota is unincorporated. Therefore the permit required by Illinois law must be issued by Hancock County. Hancock County does not have an ordinance providing for a permit to sell consumer fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Hancock County. The consensus of board members was to draft an ordinance or resolution establishing licenses for consumer fireworks sales in unincorporated areas of Hancock County. The county board could consider the resolution.

In other business the board:

The board entered executive session for the matter of personnel at 8:17 p.m.

Executive Session

Mark Menn reported the special select committee for ambulance sought applicants, reviewed applications, and conducted interviews. The committee is recommending the hiring of Gabe Smeltser. Mr. Smeltser has experience in logistics and supply chain as a supervisor at Scott's Fertilizer in Fort Madison. Although he has no EMT experience, he is a volunteer fireman. Mr. Menn stressed the committee was seeking management skills.

Mr. Menn explained the salary is $52,000 annually, two weeks annual vacation, individual health insurance (employee premium). Responding to a question from Steve Bolton, the employment is "at will."

Mr. Bollin asked about job descriptions for the ambulance management. Mr. Menn replied one (job description) exists. He added Terri Griffin's salary is $33,000.

Menn concluded, "This past year labor was $500,000 more than the prior year. Warsaw is hurting us. It is important to realize this must be a team effort.

Open session resumed at 8:27 p.m. at which time Mr. Menn introduced Gabe Smeltser.

It was voted to hire Mr Smeltser as EMS Coordinator.

Mr. Kreps announced the negotiating team for the ambulance employees is Tyler Wilson, Randy Redd, and the International Association of Machinists. He said he preferred naming a negotiating team of county board members to hiring a negotiator. Mr. Kreps appointed Mark Menn, Mark Hanson, and Tom Scheetz as negotiators.

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p,m.