PUTNAM COUNTY REGULAR BOARD MEETING
March 14, 2022, at 5:30 P.M.
The regular meeting of the Putnam County Board was called to order at 5:31 P.M. on Monday, March 14, 2022, by County Board Chairman Charles Lenkaitis. The meeting was held in the courtroom at the Putnam County Courthouse in Hennepin, Illinois.
Roll Call was taken by the Clerk of the County Board with, Floyd Holocker, Tony Rue, Steven Malavolti answering, and Luke Holly being absent.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all in attendance.
Minutes: It was moved by board member Rue to approve the minutes from February 14, 2022, Regular Board Meeting. Board member Malavolti seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent.
Bills: It was moved by board member Malavolti to approve bills for February 2022. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent.
Valerie Witzman was present and expressed her concern about windmills coming to Putnam County. Valerie presented the board with a handout of an article titled “A cardiologist investigation into IWT’s” Valerie did state the handout was a summary very lengthy and hard to read. Valerie then asked, why was the community not included in the decision when the windmills were coming in? Chairmen Lenkaitis responded that at the end of the day this is a property owner issue, not a community issue. The people of Putnam County can do what they wish with their property as long as they are following zoning and the rules of the land. The only thing that the zoning board and county board can do is make sure the zoning ordinance is in place and up to date to best serve the people of the community. This is why the moratorium was put in place.
Charlie Witzman was present and stated that he wanted to second what Valerie has already brought forward so far. I would like to know why there were windmill zoning laws put in place, to begin with? Board member Steve said that back in 2016 there was no zoning for windmills at all and windmills were starting to get looked at more during that time. Many of these articles/reports that you are finding out on the web were written when these communities had no ordinance in place. In the meetings that we attend as board members, we were instructed to get an ordinance in place regarding windmills. Beings’ counties don’t discriminate against industries we worked with the counties around us and put the zoning in place at that time, there was a hearing and no one attended then. Since then, the technology has changed and windmills are getting looked at again so the ordinance needs to be looked at again. Chairmen Lenkaitis said he was just reading an article about a study with many different types of doctors and their study revealed that it did not see any adverse health effects. I am sure that wherever we look for articles we will find these articles or those articles. The way I look at it we need to meet in the middle because that is where we will be able to move forward.
Brian Kelsey was present and stated that if they are putting windmills that are 500 ft tall 1 mile away, I will be getting that flicker. I just think that this will bring some mental health issues and possibly suicides.
Neal O’Donnell was present and stated that he was here a few months ago and asked the board to look into the subsidy effect from Marshall and Bureau Counties regarding the windmills. Utility companies around do not want anything to do with windmills however they are being forced by the federal government. The utility companies will have to pay subsidies to Sauk Industry to receive that energy. However, they have no intention of paying that subsidy so they are going to pass that bill on every one of us. So, we will see an increase of $65 bucks on our bill every month. Even though it is people’s right to do what they want with their land where are our rights as consumer electric customers to these utility companies that we have to pay an extra $65 while they collect money from the windmill sitting on their property. Did you guys find an answer from Marshall or Bureau counties about the subsidies? Chairmen Lenkaitis stated that he has found out that Bureau County schools get about 2.2 million dollars annually from the wind farm there. So based on what I have learned and the projects that I have looked at this project will add about 65 million dollars to the EAV, when you bring business into the county the property taxes go down because it adds to the EAV. About 60% of that money will be allocated to the school system with the remaining money going to all of all funds and then to the general fund. In reality, property taxes will go down with added business into the county.
Dina Luscher was present and she stated the last time that she was here she asked the board what the motivation was to bring windmills into the county. She now believes that it has to do with the amount of money that would be coming in and has nothing to do about the concerns that they would bring. 2 board members did reach out to her and she appreciated that however she has not heard anything positive outside of the money that they would bring in. She believes there is a better way to create more revenue other than bringing in something so tragic. More conversation going back and forth about recycling and restoring energy that is positive and negative.
Bill Sherman was present and was here to express his concern for the windmills. His main concern is crop yield not being able to spray fungicide on his crops due to windmills. Fields that were sprayed versus fields that weren’t were 20-30 bushels less per acre for corn and soybeans were 5-7, this will affect our bottom dollar by a lot. This will not just affect me this will affect all farmers. There are ways to spray fungicide on the ground but you will ruin more crops, it is easier to do by air.
County Highway Engineer Pat Sloan presented his February report regarding County Highway Engineer and Maintenance Activities to the board. Completed eight bridge inspections last week and no new issues were observed. The ESK bridge beams have been built and we will proceed with that project in about 1 month. The road will be closed for about 2 months during replacement. The opening bids for the annual MFT contracts on March 30, 2022, at 10:00 am at the Marshall County Highway Department Shop. You are invited to attend. This will be a public opening and we will likely have some lunch. (The County Highway Engineer Reports are on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Sheriff Kevin Doyle was present with his financial reports for February. There were no questions on his report. Sheriff Doyle said that he will be having a meeting with everyone involved in the parking lot project to discuss a plan regarding the concrete near the gas pump and sally port so there is no or not much interruption bringing prisoners in or out. (The Sheriff’s and Civil Processing Transaction Reports are on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
County Treasurer Kevin Kunkel was present and presented his financial reports for February to the board. The General Fund’s balance for February, Fiscal Year 2022, is $129,492.26 compared to a balance of $115,509.26 for February, Fiscal Year 2021. Kunkel’s report also included a review of the “General Fund Accounts Balance by Month, Fiscal Year 2022". The General Fund balance for February, Fiscal Year 2022, is $-23,184.01. The General Fund Savings balance for February, Fiscal Year 2022, is $1,080,316.11. The Illinois Fund - General Fund balance for February, Fiscal Year 2022, is $308,370.71. The total of the General Fund Accounts is $1,365,502.81. Year to date for the Fiscal Year 2022 shows revenues of $129.492.26 and expenses of ($222,564.78) for a total of ($93,072.52). (The County Treasurer’s financial reports are on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.).
County Clerk & Recorder Tina Dolder presented her report for February to the board. Her report shows $24,561.97 in total receipts for the month. Dolder reported that all the scanning is completed. Petition filing for the General Primary is now over. So, the election is underway. Dolder has also begun striking the rates in hopes to be completed and handed to the Treasurer’s Office by April. Dolder included the information for changing over to a .gov domain and email addresses for the entire county. Cyber Security is buckling down on all security and going to a .gov which has a tentative date of June 17th. (The County Clerk & Recorder’s financial report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk & Recorder for review by any interested parties.)
County Circuit Clerk Carly Neubaum was not present and did not have a report for the board.
County Probation Officer Patricia Hohulin was not present and did not have a report for the board.
County Supervisor of Assessments Tammy Mehalic was not present and did not have a report for the board.
County Zoning Officer Jim Burger presented his Zoning Officer report for February to the board. Burger informed the board that it has been a slow month with only 1 inspection completed and no permits issued. Time was spent gathering information on projects, and requests and answering questions. A considerable amount of time was spent on gathering information and explaining the uses allowed in a floodplain. (The County Zoning Officer Report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Jim Burger asked to go into Executive Session regarding personnel. It was moved by board member Malavolti to go into Executive Session at 6:04. Board member Rue seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. It was moved by board member Malavolti to adjourn from Executive Session at 6:10. Board member Rue seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent.
It was moved by board member Malavolti at 6:11 to go back in session to the regular board meeting. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent.
County Death Investigator Bob Cofoid presented his Death Investigator report for February to the board. There was (1) death reported to his office during February. Cofoid also said he did attend the winter training conference in Mt. Vernon and once again it was very well presented with approx. 130 people along with numerous vendors available. Cofoid had nothing of further interest to report to the board. (The County Death Investigator Report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Putnam County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Chauntelle Biagi-Bruer presented her February report to the board. The State of Illinois has extended its Disaster Proclamation until April 2, 2022, which covers all 102 counties including Putnam County. On February 22 Chauntelle attended the Marshall-Putnam Natural Mitigation Meeting in Henry. We have a completed draft of the Risk Assessment and Biagi-Bruer will get with Dolder to add it to our website. Biagi-Bruer has been doing ID cards for Hennepin Granville Fire and Cedar Point Fire over the last month. Biagi-Bruer did attend the IEMA region 2 quarterly meeting via zoom on February 17th and attended the Region 2 Flood Preparedness meeting via zoom on February 22nd. (The Emergency Management Coordinators Report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
STATES ATTORNEY Christina Judd Mennie was present but did not have anything to report.
Cemetery mowing will be published in the paper and all bids will be opened at the April meeting.
Resolution 2022-03 to Extend the Moratorium on Wind Turbines. After a short discussion, Board member Holocker moved to Extend the Temporary Moratorium on the Wind Turbines. Board member Rue seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. The Clerk of the County Board was directed to process the Resolution (#2022-03).
Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year 12/01/2020 - 11/30/2021; Ms. Kim Bird with Arch Hopkins & Associates, C.P.A. reviewed and discussed with the board the Putnam County Annual Financial Report for the year ended November 30, 2021. Ms. Bird briefly reviewed the Independent Auditor’s Report, Net Assets, Statement of Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balances, Notes to Financial Statements, Budgetary Comparison Schedule (General Fund), Assets Held by All Agency Funds, and the Comparative Statement of Revenues and Expenditures for All Governmental Funds. In conducting the annual audit of the County, several recommendations and observations were also developed. Board member Malavolti moved to approve the Annual Financial Report year ended Nov 30, 2021. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. (The Independent Auditor’s Annual Financial Report and the Independent Auditor Report for the County of Putnam are on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Proclamation for Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Month (May 2022); the Starved Rock chapter of A.B.A.T.E. (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) of Illinois, Inc., has submitted to the board a Proclamation for review and approval for execution. A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois, Inc. is striving to provide a safe, unrestricted motorcycling environment in the State of Illinois, community by community. To enhance and promote motorcycle safety, education, and awareness, Monthly Safety and Awareness Month Proclamations are being presented to the leaders of the community, respectfully requesting the execution of the proclamation. A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois, Inc. has proclaimed the month of May 2022 as Motorcycle Awareness Month. After a brief discussion, board member Malavolti moved that the board approve and execute the proclamation for Motorcycle Awareness during May 2022 in Putnam County. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. The Clerk of the County Board was directed to process the Proclamation.
Putnam County Website (www.co.putnam.il.us.
Website Care Report was included in the packet for the board to see the activity for February.
Correspondences and Committee Reports:
At 6:34 P.M., board member Holocker moved to adjourn the meeting. Board member Rue seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent. The meeting was adjourned. The next Regular Meeting of the Putnam County Board is scheduled for Monday, April 11, 2022, at 5:30 P.M. The meeting will be held in the courtroom at the Putnam County Courthouse.
Clerk of the Putnam County Board