In wake of the upcoming retirement of Circuit Clerk Joseph Yurkovich, the Fulton County Board Tuesday approved the appointment of Charlene Markley as Circuit Clerk.

LEWISTOWN-In wake of the upcoming retirement of Circuit Clerk Joseph Yurkovich, the Fulton County Board Tuesday approved the appointment of Charlene Markley as Circuit Clerk.


Chairman Jason Strandberg said the board advertised the position and the Personnel and Legislative Committee held interviews. This was the same process the board followed in appointing County Clerk Jennifer Bankert when Jim Nelson retired.


Markley will start serving as Circuit Clerk July 29; Yurkovich retires at the end of July.


Markley thanked the board for the opportunity; she is a 20-year employee of the Circuit Clerk’s Office and a life long resident of Fulton County.


In other business, board members approved creating a line item in the budget for capital improvements in the amount of $500,000; Fulton County has received this money from the State of Illinois, largely with help from Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria).


Koehler was scheduled to appear at Tuesday’s board meeting but had to cancel; Strandberg said Koehler will attend the board’s regular August meeting.


A portion of these funds will go to the Village of Bryant for drainage improvements; the rest will be used for improvements at the Fulton County Jail, said Strandberg.


Specifically, the monies will go towards repairing jail cell doors. As noted during the meeting, the county does not have a solid estimate on how much these repairs will cost so if the project costs more than the grant, the county will need to find other monies to pay for the rest of the project.


Additionally, the Fulton County Board approved a $51,000 boiler replacement at the courthouse.


Property Chair Neil Williams said monies will come from the county’s debt certificate, and the bid was handled by Bill Phillips of Phillips and Associates Architects. 


During this time, a motion to approve an Ameren lighting project failed.


Williams said a new grant from Ameren would replace all the light bulbs in the courthouse with energy efficient bulbs. The county’s cost would be approximately $27,000, with 35 percent of those funds being eligible to come from the county’s debt certificate. This would leave about $17,000 the county would have to pay.


Williams suggested the remaining cost come from the general fund and the payback from using efficient energy eventually restoring those monies.


Board members debated this project as the county does not currently have the funds. Said Strandberg, “I think this is an important project but where are we going to get $17,000?”


Williams made a motion to approve the project with board member John Taylor seconding the motion. However, the motion failed.


Furthermore, the board heard a report from acting Personnel and Legislative Chair Lisa Thompson, who stated that she attempted to create written policies which the county does not officially have in place. Yet, the committee rejected the idea, she said.


“I believe policies are not only important for county board members to have written guidelines, but also for taxpayers to understand how we come to our decisions,” Thompson noted. “Without that policy work, we don’t need a committee to approve pass through appointments to the various boards.”


Thompson said board member Patrick O’Brian suggested that the Personnel and Legislative and Finance Committees be consolidated. 


The Fulton County Board also:


•Approved to begin the process of potentially sale the old landfill grounds


•Approved selling the former ROE building by sending a letter to all realtors in Fulton County; whoever sells it would get the 6 percent seller’s fee


•Heard a report from Treasurer Staci Mayall, who reminded the board that the first installment of property taxes are due Friday and


•Heard a report from Health Chair Laura Hepp Kessel that the purchasing agreement has been approved with Clean Energy Design Group to get solar at the Clayberg Nursing Home; An interim administrator has been set in place at the Clayberg following the resignation of Marco Perez and they are in the process of finding a permanent replacement.