Not everything at Thursday’s Crawford County Board meeting revolved around the coronavirus, but it sure seemed like it.
Even a request to put a referendum on the November ballot may be fallout from the disease.
During the meeting, Adam Davis asked the board to consider a public vote on having the rest of Illinois split off from Chicago. The move is backed by State Rep. Brad Halbrook.
Halbrook has said downstate does not receive adequate representation because much of the state’s power is clustered in Chicago and the collar counties. Slicing them off to form a 51st state could rectify that.
The gulf between downstate and north of Interstate-80 has grown in recent weeks as critics of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s hesitance to reopen the state claim he fails to understand the differences between the two areas.
The board will consider the request at the June meeting.
The general election may also cost more because of the virus.
County Clerk Fayrene Wright said personal protective equipment for election officials could cost $10,000.
The state may foot part of the bill, but maybe not for counties that reopen sooner than Pritzker wants.
Meanwhile, Wright’s office continues to get more recording done thanks to fewer other duties to attend to during the shutdown.
The sheriff’s department saw one-third fewer accidents in April. “There’s fewer people out,” Sheriff William Rutan said. “They’re going a little slower and smoother.”
And those who get hurt or ill are less likely to want to go to the hospital. United Life Care Ambulance owner Andrew Hargrave said many people are turning down transport to the hospital because of COVID-19 fears.
The board also voted not to extend the county disaster proclamation approved in April until the June 11 meeting.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a five-year contract with ADT for a sprinkler system at the animal control building.
• Rejected the purchase of a 2020 Cattepillar road grader.
• Approved engineering work on a bridge near Landes damaged by a Norris Electric Co-Op truck last month. Norris will pay for the repairs.
• Appointed Andrew Hargrave to complete the term of Earl Deckard on the 911 Board.
• Re-appoint Mark Watson to the Robinson Fire Protection District Board, Randy Rich to the Oblong Fire Protection District Board and Lyle Crane and Gregory Martin to the Eaton Water District Board.