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Photo by Wendy Davis

The Iroquois County Board Finance Committee eyes FY19 budget amendments.

Three Iroquois County Board committees had their December meetings recently.

The IT committee discussed ADA assessable websites and the county’s need for compliance with Area Wide project manager Michael Tabor.

Tabor said he knows the need to be compliant is coming, but Area Wide hasn’t been given any guidelines to follow.

As the county is looking to upgrade its website and its content, when that’s being worked on will be a good time to figure out what is needing to be done, he said.

“There’s a lot of options for ADA compliance,” he said. Accessibility for those who have vision or hearing loss can be intergraded into the website. “Is there a deadline for it is the question.” He said private companies have been sued for not being ADA compliant.

Tabor said the website redesign project is one that was set for FY21, but Area Wide has been seeking bids for the work.

The number one reason for the redesign has been for additional security. He said department heads are also looking to add content to the page, as well. He said in this, the county could add as many features as it can, dependent upon the cost. The redesign alone will be more than $20,000.

County board chairman John Shure stated, “Can the state mandate having a website?” He said having to have the additional requirements to what the county already has is another “unfunded mandate”.

Tabor talked with the committee members about internet contracts.

At one time the county was looking into updating its phone lines, he said, and if this is done, then renewing a contract with AT&T would be limiting.

Finance manager Jill Johnson said the current phones, through provider Goodwin Communications, are becoming obsolete. Currently, there’s nothing wrong with the phone system.

AT&T offers a two-year contract for telephone use, not including long distance, and 50 MB internet for $1,350 a month, and increased speed would be an extra $100 a month.

Currently, without a contract, the county is paying $1,525 a month for just internet and $402.50 for phone, plus an average of $1,000 for long distance. He said locking in a two-year contract would save about $400 a month. But, he said, if the county is serious about upgrading the phones next year, it doesn’t want to be locked into a two-year contract.

No decision was made on the matter.

The finance committee learned from Myron Munyon the total insurance premiums went down $4,500. He said a reason for this included a workers comp claim from 2015 went off the books.

9-1-1 Director Eric Raymond told the finance committee negotiations on the telecommunicators’ contract are in the works. He said, “The first discussions went well from what I’m told.” The hope is the contract can be finalized soon to get a firm number in the books.

Also within the finance committee meeting, the FY19 budget was opened up to do some year-end bookkeeping.

The changes included adding the $92,497.82 to the sheriff’s maintenance and repair line item, as it needed to reflect the insurance payment received after the courthouse’s roof damage.

Johnson said the IMRF line item needed to have the county’s share of the payment, which totals $600,000, put in.

Finally, the highway department’s purchase of equipment line item needed to have the $248,210.70 added. The highway department purchased two tandem trucks in FY18, but the vehicle didn’t get done until FY19, which is when the payment needed to be made.

Also relating to the highway department, county engineer Joel Moore said he’s gotten the official confirmation from IDOT stating his salary will have a two percent increase without reranking, taking the salary to $110,886. The county gets reimbursement from IDOT to cover salaries in the highway department.

Moore told the highway and transportation committee members the annual maintenance letting will be Jan. 29. He said there about $400,000 worth, including pipes and chipping. He said there will probably be just about 25 miles of oil and chipping work done this year.