The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Hancock County Board Hears of Plan for Becoming a Sanctuary County for Firearms

Joy Swearingen- Hancock County Journal Pilot (with permission)

A proposed resolution brought to the Hancock County Board Aug. 21 would make the county a "sanctuary" for firearms that might be prohibited by future Illinois or federal laws.

Dan Gannon of Augusta and Virgil High of Nauvoo presented the idea to the board. While no action was taken, there was vigorous discussion.

The resolution is being proposed around the state and is supported by the Illinois State Rifle Association. The resolution opposes "the passage of any bill where the 100th Illinois General Assembly and any future Illinois General Assembly desires to restrict the individual right of U.S. citizens as protected by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

A "Sanctuary County" would direct its employees not to enforce the unconstitutional actions of state government to restrict firearms.

"As concerned citizens, we could be one county that stands up for our rights and tells Springfield we wish to keep our rights for self defense," High said.

While several board members supported the idea of preserving the right to own firearms, there was concern about wording in the resolution and use of the term "sanctuary."

State's Attorney Rachel Mast said she had not seen the resolution. The board voted to table any action, referring the resolution back to the Finance Committee and allowing Mast time to review the resolution.

The Finance Committee met before the meeting with Nathan Cobb, director of Hancock County Public Transportation, to discuss a contract for managing the on-demand transportation service.

Durham Transportation, the current provider, was the only bidder for the coming year. Cobb was concerned the bid was not in line with his budget. He will seek a one-month extension of the current contract while continuing to negotiation with Durham.

The board awarded bids to purchasers of properties acquired by tax deed. These properties are in Nauvoo, LaHarpe, Hamilton, Warsaw and Plymouth. Buyers included Amber Mitchell, Tyrane and Sandra Tomow, Charles and Patricia Williams, Hubbard Cosgrove, Craysford Reef, LLC, William K. Wood, and ABW Auctions LLC.

The board voted to sent a letter to CIRMA, the county insurance provider, stating the county will be seeking bids for insurance coverage, and asking for information on claims for the past three years.

Tom Scheetz stated that CIRMA has been a good, low cost provider, but rates have increased.

"It is in the best interest of taxpayers that we get these bids to be sure we have the best cost for insurance," said board member Wayne Bollin.

A contract for bridge replacement in Wilcox-Rocky Run Township was approved with County Contractors, Inc. of Quincy in the amount of $453,614. The project is paid 80 percent by state Township Bridge Program funds.

The board approved using some county roads as detours when Rt. 96 between Hamilton and Nauvoo is partially closed on Oct. 13 for the Great River Road Run.

A borrowing agreement was approved with Marine Bank at 2.79 percent for three years to buy the new Charger and Durango vehicles for the Sheriff's Office.

The board approved writing off $43,196 in June and $57,974 in July for uncollectable ambulance billings. Health Committee Chairman Janet Fleming noted these are not bad debts, but contractual adjustments on what is paid on the billing to Medicare and Medicaid.