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HARRISBURG — During its regular board meeting Thursday, Saline County Board heard a report about the 2018 county audit from Anna Guetersloh, a CPA at Kerber, Eck and Brackel.

“I spent a lot of time on this audit,” Guetersloh told the board.

She filed a disclaimer due to funds related to the County Clerk’s Office and a forensic audit that was completed in early 2018. That forensic audit was part of the year included in this year’s annual audit.

“I found no missing cash, but the funds were not allocated correctly,” she said.

She went over a couple of things that stood out to her during the process. First, there was a large transfer of funds from the Social Security Fund to Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

Also, there is a deficiency in the segregation of duties in county financial processes. This means one person is in charge of several steps in the process, making fraud easier to conceal. Guetersloh said one person might be in charge of approving claims, writing and signing the checks, then mailing them. She suggested office holders sign off on systems in their offices.

She also recommended all the offices use the same financial system. Currently, each office uses a different system and the systems range from hand-written ledgers to computer software.

Treasurer Jeff Murrie gave his report. He estimates a shortfall of $18,833.20 for the month of July.

“That’s where we stand right now,” Murrie said.

He also pointed out that several county funds contain money that could be transferred to the general fund. Those funds total around $430,000.

Former board member Joe Jackson said he heard a rumor that the budget was adjusted six months into the year by moving $450,000 and putting it somewhere else. The money was moved from the Harco Road Fund into the county general fund in 2018 and was not used.

Current board member Bob Oglesby believes that money was not transferred legally. The board voted to return $450,000 to Harco Road Fund. He said the funds could be used for matching funds for grants to work on road or bridge projects.

Oglesby said the money could be borrowed for county expenses, but the county cannot legally move the funds. Board Chairman Jay Williams said the money was from an agreement with coal mines operating in Saline County in the 1980s. They agreed to pay into a Harco Road Fund. Those mines have all closed.

The next item on the agenda was possible action on changing the county health insurance. Audience members who were county employees questioned the county’s health insurance plan and practices.

According to a contract negotiated by county employees and board members, employees pay a $500 deductible and then 20 percent of their medical bills up to $2,500. Earlier this year, the board voted to raise the deductible to $4,000. Employees can be reimbursed for up to $3,500 in medical expenses by submitting claims to a “stop-gap” insurance the county purchased.

The discussion was lengthy, but no action was taken.

Williams ended the discussion and moved on to the next item on the agenda since they had voted earlier in the evening to limit the meeting to two hours.

The next item was ordinances. Neither of three ordinances on the agenda was ready for action, according to board member Wes Sherrod. The ordinances deal with regulating commercial solar farms, nuisances including noise levels of businesses, and marijuana.

The board voted to make two three-year reappointments. Colleen Alvey was reappointed to the Black Branch Drainage District. Bill Jones was reappointed to Eldorado Drainage District.

They also appointed Valerie Mitchell to a three-year term on the Egyptian Public and Mental Health Board.

The board’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22 in Saline County Courthouse.

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Reporter

Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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