Kankakee Times

Kankakee Times

Monday, December 9, 2019

Iroquois County Board met August 13

By Philip Gonzales | Oct 8, 2019


Iroquois County Board met Aug. 13.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

The Iroquois County Board met in Recessed Session at the Administrative Center, in Watseka, IL on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 9 A.M. Chairman Shure called the meeting to order and asked County Clerk Lisa Fancher to call the roll

Roll call and votes in Iroquois County

Recessed Session, August 13, 2019

Chairman Shure

On motion to call the roll

Aye: Alt, Bard, Behrends, Bohlmann, Bowers, Crow, Curtis, Duby, Ducat, Huse, Johnson, McGinnis, McTaggart, Offill, Shure, Whitlow, Young, Zumwalt

Absent: Coughenour, Stichnoth


Mrs. Offill introduce Reverend Ron Bogenschneider, Pastor of the Agape Fellowship Church in Watseka, who gave the opening prayer after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in unison.


It was moved by Mrs. Crow and seconded to approve the agenda. The motion carried by a voice vote.


It was moved by Mr. Ducat and seconded to approve the minutes from the July 9, 2019 Recessed Session County Board meeting. The motion carried by a voice vote.


It was moved by Mr. Young and seconded to approve the July payroll. The motion carried by a roll call vote.

On motion to approve the July payroll

Aye: Alt, Bard, Behrends, Bohlmann, Bowers, Crow, Curtis, Duby, Ducat, Huse, Johnson, McGinnis, McTaggart, Offill, Shure, Whitlow, Young, Zumwalt

Absent: Coughenour, Stichnoth


Charles Alt.$378.00

Roger Bard.$105.00

Lyle Behrends.$341.12

Kevin Bohlmann.$70.00

Paul Bowers.$233.00

Donna Crow.$193.84

Ernest Curtis.$262.00

Leanne Duby.$150.24

Paul Ducat.$121.04

Steve Huse (3 months).$381.60

Sherry Johnson.$210.00

Chad McGinnis.$203.76

Barbara Offill.$106.02

John Shure.$916.60

Jed Whitlow.$157.20

Joe Young.$155.04

John Zumwalt.$136.32


Kathy Grazis, of Watseka, spoke to the Board about flooding matters in and around the City of Watseka. In 2015 she and her husband purchased a home on County Farm Road in Watseka. They were told it was not in the flood plain; however, they obtained flood insurance because of the 2008 flood. In December of 2015 it flooded and they got everything fixed utilizing parts of their retirement funds for the repairs. In February of 2018 it flooded again and they were given 3 options: raise, move, or tear down the structure. They spoke with a representative from the State of Illinois EMA when they were in the area making their assessments. They were told the report would be filed right away to proceed with help and would then be turned over to the local EMA. She said they never heard anything and cannot understand how the City of Watseka could get $5 million for mitigation and at least 3 others within the County got nothing. She explained that she wanted an explanation as to what, if anything is going to happen with help for those in her situation.

Peggy Wilken, resident of Stockland Township, addressed the Board with concerns surrounding the proposed Parks E4 hog confinement facility in Stockland Township. She feels like the people of the township haven’t been heard and does not see how the proposed facility could benefit the citizens. She felt area citizens should have been included because they care about their farms, land, and water supplies. Peggy also asked for a written guarantee, that would provide her with a new well if hers is contaminated or dries up.

Wade Harrison with the Effingham Equity, a farmer owned cooperative, was present to speak about the proposed Parks E4 facility. He informed the Board that Iroquois County is located in the middle of 3 packing facilities which makes it a perfect location to raise livestock. He felt touring an existing facility much like the proposed facility would provide a different level of confidence in their management and regulation. Wade confirmed that the cooperative has been around for 100 years and they are not going to do things on their farms that will put neighbors at risk, he added that the benefits of a facility like the one in question far outweigh what you read on the internet.

Arlene Birch of Stockland Township, encouraged the Board to vote no on their recommendation of the Parks E4 livestock and asked for a public hearing to be called for both the E5 and E6 facilities.

Mark Tweedy of Stockland Township, verified that he lives within a mile of the proposed facility. He voiced apprehensions regarding odor produced from a facility like the Parks E4 farm, in addition to concerns about the amount of water that will be consumed from the Northwest Indiana aquifer from which they draw. He said a majority of farms in the Stockland area have wells less than 30 feet and attention needs to be focused on keeping those wells from drying up. He also felt the Board should call for a public hearing on both the E5 and E6 facilities, as the well issue is important and needs to be addressed. In closing, he appreciated the idea of touring an existing facility as that would help residents in the area better understand their operation.

Nick Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group spoke of the economic benefit of a larger livestock operation in the Stockland area. He confirmed that they are working with the road commissioner in the area to figure out the best path for transportation to and from the facility in question. He agreed issues with wells in the area need to be addressed as any well in the area determined to be abandoned will have to be sealed, per County Code.

Hailey Lucht, representing Lucht Farms, commented that the proposed Parks E4 farm will allow her father to work on the farm, in turn making more time for family. The barns will also give her and her sisters a chance to come back to the area to farm, in turn promoting a positive influence for women in ag. Overall, the barns will make things a lot more sustainable for her family.

Charles Leitz is the owner of a farm Northeast of Milford much like the proposed Parks E4 farm. He said a farm of this size is a way to provide have the next generation the ability to continue farming, while also having a way to improve the farm ground with the manure that is produced by the animals.


There were no Chairman comments.


Chairman Shure opened discussion about the proposed livestock management facility known at Parks E4 in Stockland by stating a recommendation must be made to the Department of Ag by September 18, 2019. He also commented that a transcript of the public hearing was on hand if anyone had a question regarding what was presented at the hearing. It was moved by Mr. Zumwalt and seconded by Mr. Bohlmann to recommend to the Department of Ag to proceed with the construction of the Parks E4 farm. It was confirmed that there are licenses for these types of facilities and training that the operators must go through to run the facilities. Mr. McGinnis felt more information should be sought to obtain answers to concerns regarding wells, odor issues, and manure contamination, in order for an educated vote to take place. Mr. Zumwalt commented that there was a meeting with public comments regarding the operation and he feels all the procedures laid out by the Department of Ag have been followed and the Board should be ready to vote on the matter. Mrs. Offill felt a little more time, in order to visit one of the facilities, was in order before she would be ready to vote on the matter. It was moved by Mr. McGinnis and seconded to amend Mr. Zumwalt’s motion and table the recommendation to the Department of Ag until the September County Board meeting. The motion carried by a roll call vote.

On motion to amend Mr. Zumwalt’s motion and table the recommendation to the

Department of Ag until the September County Board meeting

Aye: Alt, Bard, Bowers, Crow, Huse, Johnson, McGinnis, Offill, Shure, Whitlow, Young Nay: Behrends, Bohlmann, Curtis, Duby, Ducat, McTaggart, Zumwalt

Absent: Coughenour, Stichnoth


Mrs. Crow opened discussion regarding the public hearing option for the Parks E5 and E6 facilities by encouraging all Board members to go to a farm like the proposed sites because there is a great deal of information to be learned. Mr. Zumwalt felt it would redundant to hold public hearings for these two farms as there isn’t any different information that will be shared. It was noted that each farm would have to have a separate hearing. It was moved by Mrs. Johnson and seconded to request the Department of Ag to hold public informational hearings for both the Parks E5 and Parks E6 proposed livestock facilities. The motion carried by a roll call vote.

On motion to request the Department of Ag to hold public information hearing for both the

Parks E5 and Parks E6 proposed livestock facilities

Aye: Alt, Bard, Behrends, Bowers, Crow, Curtis, Ducat, Huse, Johnson, McGinnis, Offill, Shure, Whitlow, Young

Nay: Bohlmann, Duby, McTaggart, Zumwalt Absent: Coughenour, Stichnoth


IEDA Director Ken Barragree spoke to the Board about the Opportunity Zone that was approved near Watseka. He commented that he is having trouble finding someone to set up the Opportunity Zone Fund, which is the first step in establishing a working Opportunity Zone. He has been working with the Economic Alliance in Kankakee in order to get the Opportunity Zone functioning, and they have stated that it would be a tragic mistake to let it go be the wayside.

Ken also reported on the following:

• The Revolving Loan Fund Committee has finally closed on the loan for T & D.

• Lori Heath has resigned from the Revolving Loan Fund Committee. Bill Krones, from Iroquois Federal has been suggested as her replacement.

• Gas City in Watseka is rebuilding.

• Rigo’s Tacos has moved into the former VIPS building in Watseka.

• He asked for help creating an inventory of buildings that are available throughout the County, which would be advantageous when trying to locate places of operation for interested parties. He said many businesses are looking for established buildings that are move in ready rather than building new and starting from scratch.

Chairman Shure commented that a family firm purchased the old Loda Grade School and plan to renovate the building and open their business at the location.


(The job descriptions for personnel in the Finance Office have been recorded and placed on file in the County Clerk’s Office.)

Chairman Shure gave the report of the Policy & Procedure Committee and presented the job descriptions for personnel in the Finance Office. He moved for adoption of all which was seconded and carried by a roll call vote.

On motion to approve the Policy & Procedure Committee report and job descriptions for personnel in the Finance Office

Aye: Alt, Bard, Behrends, Bohlmann, Bowers, Crow, Curtis, Duby, Ducat, Huse, Johnson, McTaggart, Offill, Shure, Whitlow, Young, Zumwalt Absent: Coughenour, McGinnis, Stichnoth Mr. Chairman and members of the County Board:

Your Committee to whom was referred Policy & Procedure would beg leave to submit the following report on the matters before them:

Your Committee met at the Administrative Center on August 1, 2019 at 9:00 A.M.

Members present were County Board Chairman John Shure, Lyle Behrends, Charlie Alt, and Marvin Stichnoth. Michael McTaggart and Barbara Offill were absent. Also present Treasurer Kurt Albers, IEDA Director Ken Barragree, County Clerk Lisa Fancher, EMA Director Eric Ceci, and Finance Manager Jill Johnson.

The meeting was called to order.

It was moved by Marvin Stichnoth and seconded by Charlie Alt to approve the agenda. Motion carried by a voice vote.

There were no public comments.

The Committee Chairs gave their monthly reports.

• Highway Chairman Charlie Alt reported the Highway Department will review their monthly claims. The Finance Committee will hold their next meeting on August 8th and continue with budget hearings. County Board Chairman John Shure noted the City of Watseka would like to hold another recycling event. The matter will be discussed during the Finance meeting.

• Management Chairman Lyle Behrends reported a vendor may be attending the meeting to discuss windmills and solar projects. The Judicial Committee will review their monthly reports.

• Tax Chairman Marvin Stichnoth reported the committee will receive their monthly reports.

During Chairman Comments, Shure informed the committee of an invitation received by the Indiana-Kankakee River Basin Commission to appoint a representative. They are currently seeking a non-voting member from Iroquois County and from Kankakee County to participate. Shure said he plans to fulfill the appointment himself at the present time.

The T&D Metal loan was finalized on July 17th with the first payment due August 1st.

On August 29th following the Policy & Procedure committee meeting, there is a tentative Negotiations meeting scheduled with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). This includes the Counties Deputies, Correctional Officers, Sergeants and Lieutenants.

Shure discussed the informational meeting that is being held on August 6th regarding the hog farm in Stockland. He stated the County Board is required to submit a letter of approval or disapproval within 30 days following the informational meeting.

Lastly, Shure made the committee aware of the invoice the County received for the recycling event that was held on June 1st. Shure told the committee the invoice appears to be higher than originally discussed. Also, the City of Watseka is planning to hold another recycling event on October 26th. However, Shure’s concern is the cost to the County. IEDA Director Ken Barragree noted he was informed by Watseka Alderman Mark Garfield that an additional truck was needed due to such a large turnout. The recycling invoice will be forwarded to the Finance Committee for further discussion.

EMA Director Eric Ceci reported to the committee his activities over the past two months. Ceci hosted an LEPC meeting on May 30th. During the month of June, Ceci worked on the Illinois Capability Assessment and THIRA Tool (ILCATT). This document is now finished. Ceci informed the committee of wind damage, lightning damage, and tree damage due to recent storms. The Iroquois County Fair was held July 17th through July 22nd. The Facebook page for EMA is active. On July 11th, Ceci received a presentation from a company which offers a notification system, Integrated Public Alerts Warning System (IPAWS). This system was discussed with the Finance Committee during budget hearings. Ceci attended a board meeting for The Garage, a community center in Gilman. The Garage is interested in some exercises with Ceci in the future. Ceci was notified of a fish kill in Gilman. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources was contacted and there were no obvious signs of a hazmat spill or contaminant in the area. EMA received a $2,000 donation from the Mary Helen Roberts Trust, specifically for volunteer equipment and supplies. An LEPC meeting is being held today at 11A.M. Lastly, Ceci continues to work on the Hazard Mitigation Study.

County Board Chairman John Shure gave an update on flood matters in Iroquois County stating he will be attending a meeting on August 22nd and will present more information at the next Policy & Procedure meeting.

The committee reviewed the job descriptions for the Finance Center personnel. Finance Manager Jill Johnson explained the original job descriptions are being utilized with the only changes consisting of Johnson managing I.T. functions and Executive Assistant Amanda Longfellow assisting with the I.T. functions. Also, along with education, years of experience is included. For the Deputy Clerk’s position, animal control duties were added to the job description. Johnson explained the positions are similar to what they were in the past and seemed to work well as far as internal controls. These changes have also been discussed with Hope Wheeler at CliftonLarsonAllen. It was moved by Behrends and seconded by Stichnoth to approve the job descriptions for Finance Center personnel. A roll call vote was taken. Motion carried.

Appointments include a two year appointment for James Shearl to the Board of Review and County Board Chairman John Shure to the Indiana-Kankakee River Basin Commission.

Correspondence was distributed to the committee.

The committee reviewed the claims. It was moved by Behrends and seconded by Alt to pay the claims subject to County Board approval. A roll call vote was taken. Motion carried.

There was no old business.

During new business, Shure noted the 377 Board will hold their annual meeting on August 21st at 10am to put together their levy request.

As there was no further business to come before the committee, it was moved by Alt and seconded by Behrends to adjourn at 9:38 A.M. Motion carried by a voice vote.


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Iroquois County