Metro-East News

St. Clair County considers new fee for people with guilty judgments

Under a proposal, people who are found guilty in a court case in St. Clair County could have a new $5 fee added to their penalties.

County Board members are scheduled to vote on a new fee that would help pay for drug court and probation.

The county has proposed a $5 fee be added to all judgments where someone is found guilty in order to provide a revenue stream to help pay for probation and drug court services.

The fee would be added to anyone who is found guilty or granted supervision for an Illinois vehicle code violation or someone found guilty or granted supervision on a felony, misdemeanor, a petty offense or business offense, according to county documents.

County Administrator Debra Moore said the revenue stream will help make up for money that has not come in from the state for probation services.

“Probation needs support because the state of Illinois has failed and continues to fail to provide a level of revenue,” Moore said.

The state owes St. Clair County $5 million, an amount that has been accumulating since 2010.

Five percent of the fee would go towards probation services.

“They owe us a tremendous sum that goes unpaid,” Moore said. “Unfortunately it causes the county to supplement the state while the county is under a tremendous burden to cover costs of unfunded mandates levied by the state.”

Most of the money would into a drug court fund, under the proposal.

“I think there are needs within our community we must respond to,” Moore said. “Drug court is a huge need.”

Neither Moore nor Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay had projections on how much the proposed fee could bring in.

Clay added there are more than 20 fees that could be assessed depending on the violation committed.

County Board members also are scheduled to vote on getting appraisals on three properties needed to extend Frank Scott Parkway East 2.5 miles from Cross Street in Shiloh to Illinois 158. Having the appraisals done is expected to cost $10,500.

The last appraisals on the properties were done five to six years ago, said Jim Fields, county engineer.

The project was suspended because previous offers from property owners were higher than what the properties were appraised and the county didn’t believe it could reach an agreement, Fields said.

Fields could not disclose the amount of the offers.

He did say the new Memorial Hospital East, and the previous efforts to land the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, pushed to start the appraisal process again.

“It’s always been a priority to get the last section of Frank Scott Parkway constructed,” Fields said.

To attend

  • What: St. Clair County Board
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: St. Clair County Courthouse, 10 Public Square Room B-564, Belleville