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IMG5120   The Clinton County Board unanimously approved advertising for bids for the new county health department at Monday's meeting in Carlyle.
   The building will be constructed on county-owned land at 991 Franklin St. in Carlyle, the former Church of God site.
   The project has been talked about for eight years and plans have been on the drawing board for three years, said facilities committee chairman Ken Knolhoff.
   They will use bid documents prepared by architect Gary Karasek, owner of U Studios Inc. of Swansea. 
   County Board member Bob Netemeyer asked about the expense for this project.
   Knolhoff said the plan right now is for the county to pay 85% of the project and the county health department to pay for roughly 15%, with a cap, he thought, at $420,000.
   So if the project comes in "reasonable, we should be able to pull forward, it depends on how high the bid comes in," Knolhoff said.
   County Board Chairman Larry Johnson said the county's cap was $2.5 million.
   In related news from the Clinton County Health Department, Administrator Chris Leidel said the department started a public health emergency operations center (EOC) over the summer.
   The health department bought some televisions with a cities readiness initiative grant. Those TVs are being used to air local, state and national news, along with weather channels.
   Leidel said the monitors now are stationed in various rooms at the health department's old quarters on Fairfax Street, which are set up as emergency operations centers.
   The hope is if the new health department building goes through, "and everything looks good," that they will have those monitors set up in what's planned as the community room.
   Photo project coming
   In other board news, assessment committee chairman Bryan Wessel said second notices had gone out for senior assessment exemptions that had not been returned by July 1.
   The assessment committee also discussed aerial photography for the county, possibly being done in the spring of 2023 or 2024.
   Wessel said Eagles View Aerial LLC of Illinois would charge about $98,000 for the service.
   He said the county could make payments for the service over three years.
   The county also has about $145,000 in its geographic information system fund to cover such a project.
   Offices that would greatly benefit from this would be the highway department, the assessor's office, health department, zoning office and the sheriff's office.
   Johnson said in the past John Skain, who handles information technology for the county, had obtained a grant for this service.
   It was noted the last flight Skain secured for the county, in 2020, he received a grant for $135,000 which the county did not have to pay back.
   Costs down
   In insurance news, committee chairman Nelson Heinzmann said total costs, year-to-year, were down 28%, medical claims were down 33%, pharmacy claims were up a bit, and total fixed costs were down compared to last year.
   The big news was the county's total insurance costs, year-to-date, were the lowest in 17 years.
   Heinzmann said for their fiscal year, expenses year-to-date were 28% under budget, expenses with rebate were 52.9% under budget, while other expenses were comparable to the previous month.
   Shelter work progresses
   In animal control news, chairman Craig Taylor said the animal shelter was full to capacity as of that day.
   Taylor said new kennels are expected in mid-October for the new animal control building going up off Industrial Drive and behind the existing building.
   The contractor is also having problems getting the front door for the building, which could come in by December.
   An interior truck shed is close to being completed, and exterior concrete work is set to begin, Taylor said.
   Animal Control Warden Michaela Becherer has completed her euthanasia training and will undergo additional training in October.
   Financial items
   County Treasurer Denise Trame said the county received $6,308.02 in gaming funds and the second distribution of real estate taxes went out on Sept. 12.  Total amount of the distribution was $21,792,559.21, with the county's share being $2,039,925.85. 
   The county did not receive any oil checks for the past month, Trame said.
   In other action, the board:
   • Heard work is scheduled to start next month on the courthouse roofing and HVAC systems replacement projects, facilities committee chairman Ken Knolhoff said
   • Accepted the resignation of assessor's office employee Tammy Booth, effective May 12, 2023, and approved a related capped payout at $11,679.36 which is in compliance with the county's contract, personnel/labor committee chairman Mike Kreke said
   Board members also approved allowing the assessor's office to hire a new person on Oct. 1, based on funds available in the office's budget.

   • Approved the county's accounts payable 9-2