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WATSEKA — A new three-year contract between the Iroquois County Board and the labor union representing the county’s telecommunicators has been finalized.

The board approved the contract, which is retroactive to Dec. 1, during its Jan. 14 meeting. Chairman John Shure said it calls for a 2 percent increase in telecommunicators’ wages — the same percentage as other county employees received.

Farm fertilizer contract

Also at the Jan. 14 meeting, the board did not immediately accept a bid for providing fertilizer for the county-owned farm ground, deciding instead to have the matter further discussed at the committee level first.

Bids were opened previously at a Jan. 6 committee meeting. Committee Chairman Lyle Behrends said he had tried to contact all the bidders before they submitted their proposals to inform them that their costs needed to factor in the prevailing wage. One bidder was not successfully contacted, and its representative asked if a revised bid could be submitted before the Jan. 14 meeting. Committee members agreed to allow a revised bid.

Since the Jan. 6 committee meeting, it was found that the prevailing wage does not need to be applied in these bids, board member John Zumwalt said. It’s exempt because it’s agriculture, Zumwalt said, referencing a phone call he had with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

The county board agreed to send the matter back to the committee for its Feb. 4 meeting.

Microbrewery ordinance

Also at the Jan. 14 meeting, the board approved a microbrewery ordinance to accommodate a proposed brewery in rural Thawville.

The ordinance was prepared by Shure and revised by the board’s policy and procedure committee. It was also reviewed by State’s Attorney Jim Devine.


Also at the meeting, the board appointed Robert Bauer as a Fountain Creek Drainage District commissioner and Matthew C. Hills as an Iroquois Drainage District 2 commissioner.

Also, Shure reappointed Jeremy Douglas and Joseph Young to the Iroquois County Emergency Telephone System Board.