The purpose of this report is to provide information and to aid in government transparency.
Designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail
I moved the resolution in support of Rep. Rodney Davis designating Route 66 as a National Historic Trail, which passed the Madison County Board with bi-partisan support unanimously Sept. 19. I wrote this resolution with Mayor Larry Bloemker of Hamel. This designation may bring additional international and American tourism dollars to Madison County.
County Board meeting Sept. 19
Health Committee: I voted for purchase of various vaccines from Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck Sharp and Dohme Co., and Sanofi Pasteur for the Madison County Health Department.
Transportation Committee: I voted for North Buchanan Street resurfacing (Edwardsville); agreement funding resolution for Sixthth Street resurfacing (Wood River); jurisdictional transfer of portion of St. Rose Road (Highland); county aid for Chamberlain Bridge (Pin Oak Township). Resolution to purchase new 115 HP tractor for Highway Department (low bidder Sievers Equipment, Hamel).
Grants Committee: I voted for the resolution for a UDAG low interest loan to the village of East Alton. This loan should result in the creation of at least 75 permanent jobs at East Gate Shopping Mall. Estimates indicate 150 jobs may be produced.
Finance Committee Sept. 18
I reviewed various departments’ budget requests. My goal is to ensure a balanced budget, essential services and statutory requirements. I share some first impressions.
Part-time positions: Scrutiny must be given proposed part-time positions in the Public Defenders and State’s Attorney’s budgets tentatively scratched from the budget by the administration. I will determine if these positions prevent us from needing to hire more expensive full-time personnel with benefits.
Comp time and vacation time: Statistics indicate the county must enforce vacation and comp time policies to prevent hidden long-term costs to the county. My thanks to Coroners and Sheriff Offices seem to take the lead in this effort.
Facilities position: We’re scheduled to make expensive repairs to the jail and detention home. The previous administration failed to do preventive maintenance. Funding a position to repair the jail and detention center as problems arise is prudent.
Detention home: I support funding badly needed repairs to the detention home.
Long range facilities plan: Until we decide on the priorities for property and building, budgeting remains difficult. The board must determine which properties we’re keeping or jettisoning then decide on a long-range maintenance program in order to determine spending priorities. I think we need to start by fixing the detention home and jail (underway) and sell the Wood River facility (old hospital), which is little more than a financial liability to the county.
Philip W. Chapman, County Board District Three