- Written by: Bryan Hunt - Breese Journal Editor
The Clinton County Board approved its FY2024 budget, levies and special service agreement contracts, at its Nov. 20 meeting.
The county is reducing the total levy amount, which is very uncharacteristic for most taxing bodies, said County Board Chairman Brad Knolhoff.
He said most taxing bodies will decrease the tax rate because their equalized assessed valuation is going up.
He said, in Clinton County's case, the levy the board is proposing decreases not only the tax rate, but also the taxable amount for taxpayers.
Certified public accountant Fred Becker, of Breese, briefly went through parts of the budget with board members.
The board held a budget hearing prior to the board meeting, with no public input.
The assessed valuation for 2023 was at $896,941,072, compared to $815,400,975 for 2022.
Becker pointed out the maximum rates the county could be asking for, for each of the 13 funds shown.
He showed the county asking for .5963 cents, compared to .6233 cents last year.
Total special service agreement levies are $949,760, compared to $906,571 from last year.
Knolhoff noted they are approving less of these agreements, referencing Lookingglass Township, which decided to establish its own special service agreement.
So they will levy their own rate instead of coming to the county board.
Becker pointed out the county board is approving $6,297,260 in total taxes, including the ambulance contracts. The year before, that amount was $6,308,635.
In a footnote, Knolhoff said the budget does not raise taxes for any taxpayer.
It also allows the Clinton County Board of Health to operate with more autonomy, with more decision-making capabilities on their finances, moving forward.
- Written by: Bryan Hunt - Breese Journal Editor
The Breese City Council is moving forward with plans to build another roundabout, following action taken at their Nov. 21 meeting.
Aldermen approved a contract with HMG Engineering of Breese, for $201,326, for construction of the 12th Street roundabout.
This will cover the engineering phases one and two, according to Alderman Carl Ratermann.
The Clinton County Board, at its Oct. 16 meeting, approved an agreement with the city of Breese for that roundabout, since North Walnut is a county road.
That project will be built at 12th and North Walnut streets, where CC Food Mart, McDonalds and Scooter's Coffee are located.
The estimated cost is $1.3 million, according to County Engineer Dan Behrens on Oct. 16.
He said Breese officials had been to road and bridge committee meetings three times regarding the project.
The project is moving forward because there is the likelihood of increased commercial development, and traffic, along 12th Street.
Breese has had HMG Engineers of Breese perform some preliminary work on the project, which confirmed the project is justified, though the city doesn't have to go through with it.
But because of complaints about traffic backup and the potential for more, the city is moving forward with this project.
Behrens said the city decided they would use federal funds to pay 80 percent of the cost, with 10 percent paid by Breese and 10 percent paid by the county.
The council approved two motions — findings of fact and a variance — for Chris Dorries, for the allowance of a 17-foot setback instead of a 25-foot setback on his property.
The council also approved a plat for the Rakers Farm subdivision on Rod and Gun Road in Breese Township.
Two requests, related to the same property, were approved by the Clinton County Board at their Nov. 20 meeting.
Josh and Lisa Rakers filed a special-use request to allow their father to build a single-family home on 5.19 acres of agricultural land.
County Zoning Administrator Jami Staser said the property was next to the Rakers' current home.
- Written by: Jeremy Chawgo - Breese Journal Sports Editor
The Central Cougars completed their three-peat, winning the Effingham St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament for the third season in a row after sweeping the field of eight.
The Cougars swept their pool with wins over Robinson, Mattoon and Champaign Central before blowing out Belleville East in the title game. The Cougars won their four games by an average of 20 points per game.
For their tourney efforts, Central seniors Mason Shubert, Colten Arnold and Zane Schrage all earned All-Tournament honors.
The Cougars open up their home and conference seasons this Friday when they host Salem. They will also play in the Mt. Vernon Shootout on Saturday when they showcase against Newton at 4 p.m.
Central 44, Belleville East 30: The Cougars used a strong second half to win their third-straight St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament title with their rout over the Lancers on Saturday.
The Cougars’ offense got off to a slow start with an 11-10 deficit after eight minutes with Colten Arnold draining a pair of buckets for CHS.
Jalen Coleman and Xavien Moody each hit two buckets in the second quarter for Belleville East as they led 21-18 at the half. Arnold had three more points in the second frame and led all scorers with seven points at the half.
The Cougars’ defense shined in the third quarter as they didn’t allow a Lancer bucket throughout the frame and for over 10 minutes of the second half.
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