The state's ongoing financial crisis continues to hammer away at local governments.
The Crawford County Board heard Thursday of plans that could eliminate free training the state has provided for local police, deputies and coroners, and that a grassroots effort to save local governments construction costs has already been nixed.
During Thursday's board meeting, Crawford County Sheriff Todd Liston and Coroner Earl Deckard discussed a plan announced by Gov. Patrick Quinn that would take $5 million away from "mobile training units" that keep local law enforcement up-to-date and give it instead to the Illinois State Police.
If that happens, Liston said, it is likely the units will shut down. That means local governments will have to foot the bill for additional training.
Board Chairman Gareld Bilyew asked Liston to get him information on the plan and he would circulate it to build opposition to it.
Jo Daviess County recently tried to build support for a plan changing how the state's Prevailing Wage Act is applied to local governments. The goal, Bilyew explained, "is to save taxpayers money."
Under the proposal, the act would not apply to projects costing less than $25,000. Jo Daviess officials contacted Crawford and other counties asking for letters of support as well as information on any construction projects they had would have been exempt and how much extra they had to pay because of the state law.
The bill, however, was killed in committee Wednesday. Still, the board voted 5-4 to comply with Jo Daviess' request in case the matter comes up again soon. Shirley Treadway, Don Lachenmayr, Terry McCoy and Toni Earleywine voted against the measure.
The state did come through with some more of the money it owes the county in February. Its share of the public defender's and supervisor of assessments' salaries for January and an unpaid portion of the supervisor of assessments' salary for December came in, Treasurer Twyla Bailey said.
Also, more than $126,000 in grant money for the Crawford County Forest Preserve finally arrived March 11, too late to be included in the February financial report.
On the other hand, state lawmakers are considering changes that might actually reduce the amount it pays in salary reimbursements, Bilyew said.
Also Thursday, the board approved a $250,000, 15-year loan to Jay Anderson with the recommendation of the Crawford County Development Association. Anderson is buying the Buick/GMC dealership 511 N. Jackson, Robinson, from Terry Wiseman.
Meanwhile, Bailey said, the Hutsonville grocery store has paid its loan in full.
In a related matter, the board authorized the transfer of $7,500 to cover the quarterly costs of administrating the loans.
In other business, the board:
Learned an appeal of the tax assessment of the main branch of Regions Bank in Robinson will be the subject of a Board of Reveiw hearing. It is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in the conference room of the Crawford County Courthouse.
Was told the new security measures at the courthouse are going well, although they are still in the "training phase." Liston added there has been "some grumbling" but that people will get used to using the west entrance.
Re-appointed Gene Wright and Larry Whitcomb to three-year terms on the Robinson Township Fire Protection District Board. John Gerald Russell Jr. was re-appointed to the LaMotte Township Fire Protection District Board.
Approved a joint agreement clearing the way for paving a 4.25-mile section of the Porterville Blacktop near Porterville.