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home : local news : local news July 27, 2015

11/19/2012 1:53:00 PM
$3.2 million levy helping balance county's budget
The Crawford County Board came close to balancing the budget Thursday.

The board adopted a fiscal 2013 budget that anticipates about $4,405,000 in expenses, only $1,358 more than the $4,404,000 in revenues the county expects to bring in during the year.

Helping pay the bills will be the annual tax levy, which was also adopted. The county intends to levy more than $3.2 million in taxes, 103 percent more than was actually collected this year.

The board also adopted a separate budget and levy for the Crawford County Forest Preserve. The preserve's budget anticipates revenues of $73,850 and expenses of $65,550. The levy, at $50,000, is actually less than this year.

Crawford County Treasurer Twyla Bailey told the board the county's fund balances all "look good" this month.

Helping that is the fact the state has reimbursed the county for its share of the state's attorney's and supervisor of assessments' salaries for August and September and the public defender's salary for August.

On the other hand, the number of properties on which real estate taxes have yet to be paid is up from 2011, Bailey said.

In mid-October, when certified letters were mailed to property owners who still had not paid, there were 863 parcels delinquent, or 12 percent more than last year. As of Thursday, the number of parcels had dropped to 400, but that was still more than a year ago.

The annual tax sale is 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the county annex. Local properties with overdue taxes dating back to 2008 will be going on the auction block.

Crawford County has completed its tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2008 and mobile homes that were delinquent for 2009 and prior real estate taxes. Three real estate items and six mobile homes will be offered in a sealed bid auction sale. Eleven bidders have registered to participate.

There is still time to pay up, Bailey said. Her office will accept delinquent tax payments today and Monday.

In a related matter, three members of the Crawford County Board of Review, the group that hears tax assessment appeals, were re-appointed by the board Thursday. The new terms of Rebecca Phillis, Lisa Runyon and Tom Titsworth expire in May 2014.

County Engineer Justin Childress told the board the bridge at the south edge of Stoy is almost completed. It is scheduled to be paved Nov. 26 and should be open later that week.

Also, at Childress' request, the board approved an engineering agreement for a bridge to be built in Honey Creek Township south of Fair-Rite next summer and the annual maintenance resolution which frees up Motor Fuel Tax dollars for road and bridge work.

The board also called for bids from companies to supply electrical power to county-owned facilities. This is not the same as electrical aggregation, which only applies to residential and business electric users whose consumption is far less than the county's.

Aggregation was also discussed. The county, Robinson, Palestine, Oblong and Hutsonville were among 130 villages, cities and counties served by Ameren Illinois that approved electrical aggregation Nov. 6. Illinois law allows municipalities and counties to arrange for the purchase electricity supply on behalf of residential and small business utility customers within the municipal or county borders. Under aggregation, municipalities and counties may be able to use the collective bargaining power of all residents and small businesses to secure electric supply at a price lower than would otherwise be possible.

Good Energy has been hired by the county to handle the bidding process as well as public hearings the state requires. The date of the hearings have not been finalized, but it is possible both county hearings may be Nov. 26 or 27.

In other business, the board:

• Agreed to reimburse Jada Spinner of PAWS $303.72 paid to have a dog put down and tested for rabies after it bit a child earlier this year. The board will have the state's attorney then bill the dog's owner in accordance with an agreement signed by the owner.

• Approved removal of shrubs within 25 feet of the Crawford County Courthouse. The shrubs are past their primes and are considered a security risk. The forest preserve will provide a tractor and manpower to remove and haul away the shrubs.

• Transferred $7,500 from the revolving loan fund to the Crawford County Development Association to pay for its administration of the fund during the past three months.

• Approved final payment to Tony Droste for tuckpointing and other repairs to the courthouse's exterior earlier this year.

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