MACOMB — The McDonough County Board voted Wednesday to appoint Edgar Rodriguez as the county's director of emergency services and disaster assistance. He succeeds Dan Kreps, who served in the position for 12 years.
The ESDA job is part-time and pays $14,000 per year. The salary is paid by the county, the city of Macomb, and Western Illinois University. County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer said that he, Macomb Mayor Mike Inman, and WIU administrator William "Digger" Oster selected Rodriquez from a field of four applicants.
Rodriguez is a native of Caracas, Venezuela and is in the master's degree program in emergency services at WIU. Following the county board meeting, Schwerer said the search committee was impressed by the past work Rodriquez has done in the areas of disaster planning and emergency response.
He said Rodriguez worked for five years in U.S. Army logistics. Schwerer added that Rodriguez handled disaster response services in Alexandria, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. area and had previous experience as a team leader in disaster evacuations.
In other business, the county board voted to approve Schwerer's reappointments of veterinarian Dr. Karen Blakeley, retired pharmacist and former Macomb mayor Bob Anstine, and former county board member Marcia Moll to new three-year terms on the McDonough County Board of Health. Schwerer's reappointment of Randy Hollenback to the Bushnell Fire Protection District was also approved.
Also approved were Schwerer's appointments of businessman Jack Lowderman and county board member Alice Henry to the McDonough County Board of Review. They replace retiring members Rodney Fink and Don King and will join Max Dunseth on the tax assessment appeal board.
Schwerer reported that general sales tax collected in 2017 was possibly ahead of 2016 collections by $100,000 but said that figure is subject to review. He said the portion of county sales tax used for public safety expenses dropped by $53,596 from 2016 to 2017, and that the portion of sales tax used for county road repairs was down by $26,796 from 2016 to 2017.
The board reviewed 2016-2017 revenues and expenses for the Macomb Public Building Commission. Schwerer said there was $484,769 in expenses and $447,377 in revenues. He said reserves in the fund would cover the shortfall.
Board members approved prices submitted from a recent bid letting on bituminous road materials. Also approved were amendments to the 911 intergovernmental agreement recognizing the $300,000 annual budget and the renaming of the McDonough- Schuyler County Emergency Telephone System Board to reflect the incorporation of the neighboring county into 911 Center emergency dispatching.
As a point of information, Schwerer told the board that an outside attorney has been hired to draft a road use agreement for the addition of wind turbines on local farms in McDonough and Warren counties.

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