The jail population was a topic at the Tuesday, April 20, Henry County Board meeting.
Out-of-county “for-profit” inmates are 29, less than the break-even 31 1/2 for the sheriff’s business plan, and Finance Committee Chairman Pat Ripperger said the committee will have to look at the plan again after six months.
As a bright spot amid gloom, the state has named Hillcrest Home a five-star facility — the highest rating — and a flyer put out by Country Insurance and Financial listed it as the least expensive of area facilities, with skilled beds starting at $98 per day. The average is $145 per day.
The state’s nursing home rating system is based on the health inspection rating, the staff rating and quality measures rating.
The board discussed a recent incident when a sheriff’s department employee was allowed to remove something from a personnel file with the sheriff’s approval.
Public safety chairman Kippy Nelson said the sheriff had the authority to make such an agreement with the employee, although the item has since been returned, and by law should be placed in a separate file until a number of years after the employee leaves the department.
Mike Zerull, director of Abilities Plus, spoke on increases in the agency’s public transportation service and said he wanted to hear any complaints about the service.
He said funds come from the Illinois Department of Transportation and downstate providers are getting a 10 percent increase in funding.
Zerull said his agency has hired a fulltime coordinator and other hires are pending as well as better software for scheduling.
“If you hear any complaints, we want to know,” he said. “We are really just starting out and we want it to be good. People who need transportation the most are people with disabilities, so we don’t want that to go away.”
The board also:
• Approved a two-year intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Cambridge for its use of a portion of College Square Park that was deeded over to the county years ago; the village will do snow removal on the block of Main Street that was part of the deed.
• Noted a possible change in the county liquor ordinance to extend tavern hours to 1 a.m. from the present midnight; the ordinance will be presented in May with possible vote in June.
• Approved a contract with Hillcrest employees reflecting an increase of 20 cents per hour.
• Learned three board members secured a $2,000 Quad City Arts Council grant to commission a Lee Kimball painting of a Henry County scene for the courthouse.
• Agreed to suspend a business incentive policy for tax abatement that went into effect eight years ago to evaluate its effectiveness.