PAXTON — Property tax bills have still not been mailed to Ford County landowners.
County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker told the Ford County Board on Monday night that she cannot predict when they will be sent.
Shoemaker said the bills currently are awaiting work to be done by the county clerk’s office. From there, the bills must go to the printer, she said.
Whenever the bills do go out, Shoemaker said, residents will have 30 days from the date of the mailing to pay the first installment of their taxes.
In other business Monday:
➜ The board approved a contract with United Health Care for employee health insurance for the next year. Marty Nuss of Insurance Providers Group said the county will pay a 4.5 percent increase in rates over last year’s plan with Aetna. Nuss said Aetna has “gutted the current plan,” and to get something similar would mean a 16 percent increase in rates. Nuss said Aetna experienced a “100 percent loss ratio” with employees under the current plan. United’s plan means no deductibles for employees, but there will be copays for most services with an out-of-pocket cap. Board member Tom McQuinn of rural Paxton said he met with employees who carry the insurance, and their consensus was to go with the United plan.
➜ The board approved contracts with employee vision and dental insurance providers.
➜ The board approved levying $50,000 in property taxes in 2020 to support the University of Illinois Extension. The UI Extension maintains its Ford-Iroquois unit office in Onarga and provides programs such as the 4-H program and Master Gardener program.
➜ The board approved giving a $7,000 contribution to the Ford County Soil & Water Conservation District.
➜ The board approved the hiring of a sheriff’s deputy to fill a vacancy in the sheriff’s office.
➜ The board approved the hiring of one or more part-time maintenance workers in the highway department. County Highway Engineer Greg Perkinson said he needs help as various farmers who have worked part-time have been unavailable.
➜ The board did not formally approve its annual prevailing wage ordinance. Perkinson said that as of June 1, a new state law says counties do not need to approve a prevailing wage ordinance but do need to pay state-mandated wages.
➜ The board approved a one-year contract with the village of Elliott, requiring the village to pay $7,700 for law enforcement services provided by the sheriff’s office.
➜ Board member Tim Nuss of rural Roberts updated the board on a recent meeting of the board’s highway committee. Nuss said three representatives of EDP Renewables, owner of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm in the northern part of the county, attended the meeting. Residents in northern Ford County have lodged numerous complaints about the company, and county officials have also had difficulty communicating those concerns to the company. Only now, after three years, has the company reached a settlement with affected townships that experienced road and ditch problems following the wind farm’s construction. Nuss said he was optimistic that the company and the county can work together going forward. Nuss thanked State’s Attorney Andrew Killian for attending the meeting, as well. Board member Chuck Aubry of Gibson City said a written complaint process needs to be implemented.
➜ Two residents who attended the meeting — Patti Meunier and Emily Lattz — said they hope to see limits on the noise wind turbines can produce written in to the county’s new wind farm ordinance. Lattz said a procedure for conflict resolution also needs to be in the ordinance.
➜ The board learned that its zoning committee will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, June 17, in the small courtroom on the first floor of the courthouse in Paxton.
➜ Budget committee meetings with department heads were scheduled for all day on Tuesday, June 18, and on the morning of Wednesday, June 19, in the small courtroom.
➜ Ford County Emergency Management Agency Director Terry Whitebird said he was still waiting to hear if the high winds that caused damage in Sibley late last month were actually a tornado.
➜ Whitebird announced several upcoming training events over the next six weeks.
➜ Lowell Davis of Eagleview, a geographic information system for mapping properties, presented an overview of what his company does. The county currently contracts with another company.