MARION — During the regular Williamson County Board meeting Tuesday morning, commissioners heard from Circuit Clerk Andrew Wilson that the fees collected by his office are creating a little bit of a problem.
The circuit clerk's office collects a variety of fees and fines. Those fees are split among different entities such as the sheriff, state’s attorney, circuit clerk, judicial security and more.
Wilson said fees were adjusted last summer. For example, the fee for a truck ticketed for being overweight was $10, and it jumped to $85. The result is the portion of the fees that go to the county funds also jumped.
The additional fees created a problem in the funds that go to First Judicial Circuit. The fund was getting $4,000 to $6,000 a month, and its payments jumped to $16,000 to $18,000.
“We need to adjust where the funds go from fines,” Wilson said. “(Presiding Judge Brad) Bleyer would like to see about $6,000.”
The remaining money would go to the county’s general fund.
Wilson said he prefers making adjustments slowly, so each of the funds receive what they need to operate.
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The board also discussed computer network upgrades that are needed with representatives of CDS, including three new switches, two of which are integral to providing online access to the county building; replacing a failed hard drive attached to a scanner that is used by the supervisor of assessment’s office; and increasing the size of online storage for the county.
During the discussion, Supervisor of Assessments Jeffrey Robinson offered to pay the $1,200 cost of replacing the hard drive and the $4,400 fee for replacing the switches. The county board will pay $7,100 to increase online storage capabilities.
The board also discussed required building permits for construction in the county. At the current time, no permits are required to build in unincorporated areas of the county. This means some buildings and homes have not met current flood plain guidelines.
Commissioners explained that a building permit would make sure all construction meets requirements of National Flood Insurance Program, which is required to secure loans. It is a win for the county and the person building.
They decided to have Assistant State’s Attorney Philip Maddox draft an ordinance similar to the Union County building permit ordinance to review next week.
The board will meet with Pittsburg officials to talk about maintenance of a lift station in Whiteash.
In other business, the board:
- Heard a report from Kelly Fenton, new executive director of REDCO, the regional economic developer for Williamson County;
- Approved animal control agreements with Hurst, Stonefort and Spillertown;
- Approved a request to Illinois Department of Transportation to transfer $353,001.70 from the Motor Fuel Tax to Williamson County;
- Approved an expenditure of $150,000 to cover 20 percent of the cost of resurfacing Grassy Road from Illinois 37 to 148. County Engineer Greg Smothers told the board they will spend about $2 million on projects for Paulton, Crenshaw and Grassy roads this year;
- Briefly discussed a motion to bid accounting services for the county from Commissioner Ron Ellis. Chairman Jim Marlo and Commissioner Brent Gentry did not favor bidding the services and want to stay with Kim Meyer of Hudgens and Meyer. Marlo called it a “difference of opinion.” No action was taken.
The board set a tentative meeting at 10 a.m. Jan. 22 to meet with representatives of Pittsburg.