The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

County board learns of possible liabilities with reconstructing Connable Road

Micah Stewart, J-P Correspondent

Patsy Davis presented the Highway, Road and Bridge Committee report from the meeting held July 29.

In that meeting Rachel Mast, state's attorney, informed the committee of potential liability if reconstruction of Connable Road is done with shoulders and foreslopes that do not meet standards.

The existing Connable Road was constructed to meet the standards in place in 1936, and is being maintained to those standards. However, if the road is reconstructed it must be built and maintained to current standards.

Elgin Berry, county engineer, stated that it is difficult to maintain the shoulders of Connable Road because heavy trucks blow out shoulder rock, creating a sharp drop off. Wayne Bollin noted that he has witnessed numerous vehicles, including passenger vehicles, run off the sharp edge of the pavement.

Davis and other committee members met with Bob Miller, of W.L. Miller Company, to understand what improvements can be made and the costs associated. Berry stated that W.L. Miller quoted $1.921 million for similar work on Connable Road.

Mark Menn agreed to contact the county's insurance provider to determine the liability if the road is constructed with narrow shoulders that do not meet current standards. Berry said that he would not be comfortable with a design that did not meet a reasonable standard of care, as detailed in the Illinois Department of Transportation Local Roads and Streets Manual.

Janet Fleming presented the Miscellaneous and County Health Committee report from the meeting held on August 10.

Warsaw Fire Chief, Steve Siegrist, addressed the committee with concerns about the Hamilton ambulance being in Carthage too much. Siegrist provided examples where the ambulance was needed in Hamilton but the response time was too long due to it being stationed in Carthage.

Dennis Castlebury presented the Building, Grounds and Insurance Committee report from the meeting held Aug. 9. Sheriff Travis Duffy reported that 28 inmates are currently in the county jail, including five females. At this time there are no pending transfers to the Department of Corrections.

Wayne Bollin presented the Finance, Fees and Salaries Committee report from the special meeting held Aug. 4. In that meeting States Attorney Rachel Mast informed the committee that there were no applications received for the Conflict Public Defender position. Mast will put out another ad to a larger area to try and generate applications.

Mark Menn stated that committee members had audited 10 of the 12 downstate grant recipients, excluding Annie's Custard and Hotel Nauvoo, and all are in compliance.

At the regular committee meeting held Aug. 12, Holly Wilde-Tillman, Hancock County Clerk, provided updates on the upcoming election. A letter must be sent out for each election with details about mail-in votes, which could cost approximately $6,000 in postage. A second letter must be sent out to censor the polling places and notify voters that they can come in anytime during election day to vote. The second letter could cost approximately $8,000.