PUTNAM COUNTY REGULAR BOARD MEETING
August 9, 2021, 5:30 P.M.
The regular meeting of the Putnam County Board was called to order at 5:30 P.M. on Monday, August 9, 2021, by County Board Chairman Charles Lenkaitis. The meeting was held in the courtroom at the Putnam County Courthouse in Hennepin, Illinois. The meeting was also available via Zoom.
Roll Call was taken by the Clerk of the County Board with, Charles Lenkaitis, Anthony Rue, Floyd Holocker, and Steven Malavolti answering. Board member Luke Holly is absent.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all in attendance.
Minutes: It was moved by board member Rue to approve the minutes from July 12, 2021, 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.
Bills: It was moved by board member Holocker to approve bills from the June 14, 2021, 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. It was then moved by board member Malavolti to approve bills from the July 12, 2021, 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.
Attorney Richard Porter from Hindshaw & Cobleson was present and addressed the board about the current ordinance regarding wind energy. Porter stated it is outdated and the weakest ordinance that he has ever read in his opinion. He urged this was the time to get the ordinance in place while there is no application pending. Meanwhile, you need to issue a moratorium so it holds any application that you may receive before the ordinance is up to date. Porter stated several reasons why the current ordinance is not sufficient in his opinion. The current ordinance states it only needs to be 1,000 ft from someone’s home and that is not far enough. Currently, it has a 1.0 set back from the property line which is not far enough away if it falls it will fall on someone’s property. The light system required on top of the windmill for aircraft is not in the current ordinance. Attorney Porter did state that he would gladly sit down and assist with a moratorium which is a temporary prohibition of an activity.
Board member Luke Holly entered the meeting via zoom at 5:43.
Mr. Jeffrey Purtell was present and asked the board why they voted against the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act? He asked, “What can I do to get this passed?”. Chairman Lenkaitis and board member Rue both said they did not agree with paragraph 4A which states “The Putnam County, Illinois Sheriff’s Department shall be given the full authority to make an arrest of any and all federal agents which violate state laws and enforce the regulations listed in Section (1).” Sheriff Doyle stated “That we use Federal resources almost every day, I would not be able to serve and do my job without reaching out to the Feds.” Chairman Lenkaitis said, “All of us sitting here fully supports the 2nd Amendment.”
William Sherman III was present and stated he was opposed to wind turbines in Putnam County. He stated that he will not be able to spray fungicides on his crops. Changing the way, he has to perform this process will be more costly and will go after whoever he needs to for reimbursement. Sherman said the people that are signing up for wind turbines are people that own land in Putnam County but do not live here.
Norm Liles was present and stated, “If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have put this much $ in this community.” “It’s not right, it’s not fair, you four can sit there and ruin someone’s life. He does not want to sit in his backyard and look at windmills. He is opposed to windmills.
Dennis Croisant was present and said he was absolutely opposed to these windmills, if he wanted to see that he would have moved to Chicago.
Joe K. was present and said that the last thing that he wants to see is windmills.
Valerie Witzman was present and goes on record saying she is opposed to the windmills. She has lived here for 40 years and she has talked to everyone in Mt. Palatine and everyone but 2 people do not want windmills. She said, “What about higher sales tax?” It’s awful the Sheriffs deputies and the courthouse staff have to work so hard being understaffed. We need to find another way to bring in revenue.
Charlie Witzman was present and said he is opposed to the windmills.
Attorney Richard Porter spoke again and asked the board to look into the 2007-2021 Sundown law 35 ILCS 200/10-610.
Chairman Lenkaitis said they would look into that law and thanked everyone for their concerns and without any more public comment the board moved on with the board meeting.
County Highway Engineer Pat Sloan presented his July report of County Highway Engineer and Maintenance Activities to the board. Mr. Sloan noted that any decisions of wind farms are based on the zoning board, not the county board. Mr. Sloan then went on with his report stating on July 30th, the State received a bid of $753,024.20 from Advanced Asphalt for the McNabb Blacktop widening and resurfacing project, which is 11% less than the estimate. The contract for the ESK bridge replacement has been executed with Curnyn and we should start to see some activity within a month and will be totally closed for about 3 months. Also, 600N will be closed the week of August 9th for a culvert replacement – Granville Township, County Aid 104. The electronics collection day in Toluca on July 23 saw approximately 65 vehicles from Putnam County. He did not have final weights yet, but they collected at least 2 semi-loads of material. (The Putnam County Highway Engineer and Maintenance Activities Reports are on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Sheriff Kevin Doyle reported as chairman on the American Recovery Act Committee progress. They have gathered several different projects from different offices that they are looking at and going through to determine the priority of each project. Soon they will need a committee meeting to make some decisions and get approval from the board. The Sheriff then presented his financial reports for the month of July to the board. (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 presented his financial reports for the month of July to the board. The General Fund’s working balance for the month of August, Fiscal Year 2021, was $276,755.24 compared to a working balance of $135,905.67 for the month of July, Fiscal Year 2020. Mr. Kunkel’s report also included a review of the “General Fund Accounts Balance by Month, Fiscal Year 2021". The General Fund balance for the month of July, Fiscal Year 2021, was $76,045.36. The General Fund Savings balance for the month of July, Fiscal Year 2021, was $819,261.82. The Illinois Fund - General Fund balance for the month of July, Fiscal Year 2021, was $287,088.70. The total of the General Fund Accounts is $1,182,395.88. Year to date for Fiscal Year 2021 shows revenues of $276,755.24 and expenses of ($238,190.69) for a total of $38,564.55. Mr. Kunkel did say that the sales income tax is a lot higher this year than last. Mr. Kunkel also wanted to remind everyone the 2nd installment on taxes is due Sept 1, 2021. (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 the month of July to the board. Her report shows $45,939.73 in total receipts and $19,258.93 in total disbursements for the month of July resulting in a closing balance of $12,795.52. Dolder stated that we have received reimbursement for meeting attendance for the 2nd quarter of 2021 from the United Council of Governments. There were 3 raffle applications filled out for the month of July. Dolder attended a webinar for the Omnibus Election Reform Law – Public Act 102-0015 and there are several more changes coming. Greg Bachman was present on behalf of Fidlar Technologies and spoke about the company, the land records software, and services. (The County Clerk & Recorder’s report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk & Recorder for review by any interested parties.)
County Circuit Clerk Carly Neubaum had reported that the air conditioner was replaced in the Circuit Clerk’s office after being broke for over a year. Jury trials are coming up in October.
County Probation Officer Patricia Hohulin was present and reported that she has been keeping busy. Hohulin told the board they will see some increases in her budget due to changes that will be taking place with the no cash bond laws. There has been a lot of transfer in cases this month. Hohulin said she has been trying to do appointments early in the morning or late in the evening or even on Saturdays whatever is more convenient for her clients.
County Supervisor of Assessments Tammy Mehalic gave a presentation on the Economic Impact of Wind Energy. Mehalic said if we had a wind farm this year the taxing bodies of the county would have received $1,495,221.00. Also, the school’s tax rate was 4.33455, but if the wind far was here, it would be 3.6518. Example: This year this in particular homeowner paid $2897.04 but if the wind farm was here the bill for the school would be $2440.72 for a savings of $456.32. Lower tax rates help our communities grow. Industry affects tax rates. The winds of change are here. Coal-fired power plants are dinosaurs, and the values of those plants are falling. It’s a fact. We have one here in this county. It’s the value we have lost. We need new industrial growth in this county.
County Zoning Officer Jim Burger presented his Zoning Officer report for the month of July to the board. Mr. Burger informed the board that it was a little slow this month with only two (2) building permits issued and seven (7) building inspections completed during the month of July. Mr. Burger also informed the board that he will continue to issue building permits and perform inspections while observing the proper guidelines while out in the public. (The County Zoning Officer Report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
County Death Investigator Bob Cofoid was not present but did include his Death Investigator report for the month of July to the board in their packet. There were two (2) deaths reported to his office during the month of July. 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 was not present and did not have a report for the board. Mr. Hector Gomez with the Bureau, Marshall, Putnam County Health Department gave an update on the current situation relative to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mr. Gomez informed the board that Putnam County is currently 43.55% fully vaccinated. Hector Gomez also said there was not a confirmed Delta strain in our area yet. The Health Department is still offering vaccines call or check the website for information.
Resolution to Accept and Allocate American Recovery Relief Funds – The resolution was read out loud and after no discussion, it was moved by board member Malavolti to approve the resolution. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays, and 0 absent. The Clerk of the County Board was directed to process the resolution (#2021-014).
Business Employment Skills Team Inc. (BEST, Inc) – Carrie Folken started out saying BEST, Inc. receives money from the federal government then gave an update of the workforce development programs in Putnam County. There had been 5 youth, 3 adults, 3 dislocated workers, and 1 trade adjustment assistance individual enrolled in (WIOA), Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Allocations for Putnam County PY ’21 (July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022) are $68,795.29. (The BEST.Inc report is on file at the Office of the County Clerk for review by any interested parties.)
Scout Clean Energy was presently introducing the new developer, Alex Weck. Mark, the Director of Development introduced himself and informed the board that Pete retired and Alex will be the new developer for any projects. Alex has been with Scout Clean Energy for about 14 years now. SkyYield Wind & Solar currently has about 12 acres under lease as of now.
Putnam County Website (www.co.putnam.il.us); Board member Malavolti asked the board if they thought we should up our GB for the hosting space for the county. The county currently has 50 GB however 39.8 GB of the 50 GB was being taken up by emails. The board decided before we add more GB’s we need to ask everyone to go through their email and get rid of the junk emails and start a records disposal for anything that you don’t need but need permission from the state to dispose of.
Correspondences and Committee Reports: There were no correspondences and no committee reports.
At 7:03 P.M., board member Rue moved to adjourn the meeting. Board member Holocker seconded the motion and the motion was carried on a roll call board vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays, and 0 absent. The meeting was adjourned. The next Regular Meeting of the Putnam County Board is scheduled for Monday, September 13, 2021, at 5:30 P.M. The meeting will be held in the courtroom at the Putnam County Courthouse. The meeting will also be available via Zoom.
Clerk of the Putnam County Board