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Photo by Wendy Davis

The Iroquois County Board Finance Committee discusses the contingency fund in the FY19 budget.

Two Iroquois County Board committees — finance and IT — had their monthly meetings Thursday morning.

At the finance committee, the committee approved using the FY19 contingency money to help pay on loans related to the energy efficiency work done.

Finance manager Jill Johnson told the committee county board management services committee chairman Lyle Behrends approached her with the idea of taking what’s left of the FY19 contingency money to put toward the $600,000 borrowed to pay for the work Smart Watt has done in the past few months.

Each year the county board puts about $50,000 in a contingency fund in the budget in the case of emergencies or unexpected bills. This year, money was used to pay property owners for the deeds which the county’s former trustee, Ballingers, made an error in recording.

The remaining funds total $43,410.20. Johnson said the county is paying 4.29 percent interest on the loan.

The committee agreed that whatever is left in the contingency fund on Nov. 27, the last business day before the new fiscal year begins Dec. 1, will be put toward the loan.

As for the FY20 budget, it will be up for full board approval Tuesday.

Probation director Tom Latham told the finance committee the salary reimbursements for the Iroquois County probation staff has increased. Every year a formula is sent for the department to figure its reimbursements

The salaries total about $370,000 a year. This year the reimbursements put into the budget totaled $204,095, increased $60,000 from before, he said. An addition $49,000 was added to the county’s allotment.

Iroquois County Public Health Department Administrator Dee Schippert told the committee at Wednesday evening’s board of health committee meeting, she approached the board about changing the food permit fee for events.

The board approved adding a three-day food permit for $25, when it did cost vendors $75 a day.

She said this decrease won’t hurt the health department financially, as the fee isn’t something in which it makes money from. Doing this will help communities, as she explained, because it can encourage the small vendors to participate in community events.

Ending the meeting, committee member Ernest Curtis asked if the county has looked into putting a grant writer on staff.

He said it’s something that had been discussed in previous years.

He was told this didn’t leave the idea phase, because, as committee member Sherry Johnson explained to him, the salary for the position would be too costly.

Jill Johnson told him and the committee the county’s department heads “do a good job looking out for their own grants”, and they write for their own grants.

Area Wide’s Michael Taber spoke at a quick IT meeting that followed the finance committee meeting.

He updated the committee on computer updates.

He said they’re in the process of switching the county’s computers using Windows 7, which will no longer be supported, to Windows 10.

He also told committee members new spam filters and additional security filters for the county’s email addresses have been turned on.

There have been a few people express concerns about the extra steps they’re needing to go through to check their email, and he said Area Wide will work with them to expedite the process where they can.