Oct. 27 declared Lincoln Day in Stark County
By John A. Ballentine
The Stark County Board of Supervisors have approved by a 7-0 vote a petition filed by Tucker Equipment Sales, Incorporated to sell the ownership of that property and business. LaDonna Tucker is planning to sell the business to Jack L. Knobloch, of Galva, Illinois. It is located on Route 78, northwest of Toulon.
Additionally by a 7-0 vote, the board disapproved Marvin Smith, Jr.’s, of Wyoming, Illinois petition to demolish an existing residential dwelling in the Village of Castleton and install a mobile trailer in its place.
Zoning Officer Renee Johnson informed the board, “This one I have issues with. He [Smith] is wanting to keep the existing garage…so he is wanting to tear down the existing dwelling and add a mobile home to the garage.”
Johnson explained, “I have had a couple of telephone calls that somebody who is homeless has been living in the garage. I have contacted the Health Department, so they are doing an investigation on that. If there is no septic system to the garage, a person cannot live there.
“I have mailed letters to everyone within 250 feet of Mr. Smith’s lots, which was 18 letters. I have received two letters from adjoining property owners opposing the Special Use Permit for a mobile home. I have also received three telephone calls from residents opposing a mobile home from going in on Mr. Smith’s lots…”
Johnson continued, “He has back taxes on those two lots. He owns seven properties within Stark County and all seven of them he has not had taxes paid on them. He has not paid 2015 or 2016 taxes, and nothing for 2017. The amount is about $3,000 in taxes he owes just on these two parcels, in Castleton, not counting the other properties.”
Johnson informed the Stark Board, “It is the recommendation of both zoning boards for the County Board to disapprove this permit petition.”
A proclamation stating that, “In this Bicentennial year of the State of Illinois, Saturday, October 27, 2018 is proclaimed ‘Lincoln Day in Stark County.’” In 2011, local historians Floyd ham and Don Schmidt, both of Toulon, presented evidence that Abraham Lincoln spoke in Toulon on October 27, 1858. The Old Settlers’ monument erected on the Courthouse lawn, in 1912, incorrectly reads that Lincoln spoke in Toulon on October 6, 1858.
The Stark County Genealogical Society is currently seeking funds to correct the monument date by a professional monument contractor. There would be no charge or cost to the County, only permission is required from the County to perform the work of changing the date. The Stark Board approved the proclamation and also the monument change work by a 7-0 vote.
County Engineer Mark Otten presented his report to the County Board and informed them that the new concrete box culvert on the Osceola Road Culvert Reconstruction project is now complete and open to traffic.
Also, sealcoating of approximately 24 miles of Stark County highways is completed of the 2018 pavement preservation project.
Porter Brothers Construction will be performing additional sealcoating work, to be paid for using Motor Fuel Tax funds. It is to be completed by July 20 under the General Maintenance heading.
Advanced Asphalt has completed the 1700N and 1800N railroad grade crossing improvements and they have been paid. The County will be submitting paperwork for reimbursement of this project cost to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The Duncan Road Reconstruction project continues to be worked on. It will continue through the summer months and is expected to be completed in late September, or early October.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has approved the Stark County Highway Department’s $1.7 million request for major bridge funds to replace the deteriorating bridge over Camp Run Creek, on North Valley Road. The funds are currently scheduled for construction, in 2024. Otten hopes to move that project date to an earlier time in the future.
Second Amendment Resolution
The Stark Board passed a resolution that, “Opposes the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the right of people to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
The County Board heard from Sheriff Steven Sloan that contractor Brant Turnbull, of Toulon, and Turnbull Precision Painting will begin the painting project of the Courthouse and Annex buildings in August, approximately on the 13th.
Additionally, the property which houses the impound lot and animal control building is for sale by the Bents and the County is interested in purchasing; it was tabled until next month. Sheriff Sloan requesting the delay because he didn’t receive the appraisal of the property until the day of the County meeting, July 10. Sloan wants time to examine the appraisal before recommendation of purchase is given.
Pamela J. Wulf was appointed to the LaFayette Fire Protection District trustee position for a term from July 10, 2018 until May 1, 2021. Also, William S. Foglesong was appointed to Toulon’s for the same term dates and John T. Stabler to Wyoming’s.
Last month these appointments were tabled until this month to allow other people to apply for the position. There were no other applicants. The Bradford Fire Protection District trustee position has three applicants for it, which is currently held by James C. Stange. His term expires on September 11, 2018.
Budget hearings will occur next month and in September for fiscal year 2018-2019 relevant to all county offices. In August, the county board plans to hear from the offices of the county clerk and recorder, treasurer, circuit clerk, and State’s Attorney. For September, the offices scheduled to bring their budgets to the board are the Sheriff’s Office, Medical and Legal investigator and animal control, probation officer, supervisor of assessments and zoning officer, county engineer and Emergency Management director.
Emergency management Agency update
Although not on the agenda, discussion concerning Stark County’s emergency management plan was held by Henry County EMA Director Mat Schnepple. Schnepple, through an intergovernmental agreement between Stark and Henry Counties, was hired to assist Stark County EMA Director Don Schmidt in developing a mandated emergency plan.
Schnepple explained, “The plan is a roadmap for the county in case an emergency is declared.” Schmidt commended Schnepple on developing a more extensive plan and putting it in place. Schmidt said that it was a better plan than the basic one he had organized originally.
It has taken months of work to develop Stark County’s emergency plan and the hope is to regain accreditation for Stark County.
Sheriff Sloan stated that a meeting held July 18, in Marshall County, will continue to discuss aiding Stark County with obtaining an E911 emergency telephone system. Currently, Stark County is the only county in the State without E911, which is State mandated.