PAXTON — Starting Dec. 1, 2022, Ford County Board members will only be allowed to be paid once in a four-year term for attending meetings of committees to which they do not belong.
The board approved a resolution Monday night to implement the new policy starting with the 2022 fiscal year. Currently, County Clerk & Recorder Amy Frederick said, some board members attend committee meetings of which they are not members but still are able to bill the county for their $65 per-diem stipend.
Under the new policy, board members can receive the $65 stipend for each regular monthly meeting attended, plus any meetings of committees to which they belong, as well as for only one meeting of a committee to which they do not belong every four years
Also at Monday’s meeting:
➜ The board approved the hiring of one telecommunicator in the sheriff’s office.
➜ The board approved the reappointment of Ron Shapland of Cullom to a five-year term on the Ford County Public Building Commission. Shapland serves as the commission’s chairman.
➜ The board took no action on whether to release $2.77 million in escrow funds to San Diego, Calif.-based EDF Renewables — the developer of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm — as part of a settlement reached in a long-standing dispute over the adequacy of road repairs made following the wind farm’s construction.
➜ Two members of the public addressed the board over wind farm concerns. George Seng said he thinks claims of wind turbine noise and light flicker are exaggerations and that he and his wife are not bothered at all by turbines they live near in Iroquois County. Seng said Ford County could use the tax revenue that wind farms provide. Emily Lattz, however, countered what Seng said. Lattz said studies have shown that some harmful turbine noise falls in the inaudible range. Lattz noted that those with some hearing loss may hear nothing at all. Lattz said she has no problem, though, with individual land owners seeking a waiver from strict setback requirements.
➜ Randy Ferguson of Gibson City, chairman of the board’s zoning committee, said he does not know when a rewritten ordinance setting proposed new regulations for wind farms will be ready for the board to review.
➜ Ferguson said the board’s zoning committee will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, in the first-floor courtroom at the Ford County Courthouse to discuss a proposed ordinance regulating solar farms.
➜ The board learned that its budget committee will meet at 6 p.m. on both July 11 and July 25, while its overview committee will meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 5. All meetings will be in the first-floor courtroom at the Ford County Courthouse.
➜ Collective-bargaining negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police will begin at 10 a.m. July 30 in the meeting room in the basement of the county jail, the board learned.
➜ Chief Probation Officer Ellen Maxey said a new cognitive training class for probation clients will begin soon.
➜ Chase McCall of Gibson City, chairman of the board’s finance committee, said that with marijuana being legalized for recreational use by adults in Illinois starting Jan. 1, the county would be able to assess a 0.75 percent sales tax on items sold at a recreational cannabis dispensary located in the county.
➜ Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker said she should be able to disperse property tax revenue to governmental entities shortly after payment of the first tax installment is due on Aug. 16.