Metro-East News

St. Clair County board delays guilty-fee vote

The St. Clair County Board on Tuesday delayed a vote on a proposed fee to support a drug court fund and probation services.

The board postponed the vote until the June board meeting.

“We’re just making sure we comply with state statute,” said County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

The proposed $5 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 officials did not have any estimates of how much the fee would bring in.

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

St. Clair County Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay added there are more than 20 fees that could be assessed depending on the violation committed.

Among the fees already in place is a $5 to $30 fee on traffic tickets, a $50 fee for felonies, a $25 fee for class A misdemeanors, a $15 fee for class B or C misdemeanors, and a $10 fee for a petty offense or business offense to help pay for the county court system.

There is also a $10 fee whenever someone is found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony to pay for county mental health court.

Other business

▪  County Board members approved obtaining updated appraisals on three properties needed to extend the Frank Scott Parkway East 2.5 miles to Illinois 158.

County Engineer Jim Fields has said the appraisals will cost $10,500.

▪  County Board members also on Tuesday approved purchasing various materials for the county highway department.

JTC Petroleum Company was awarded a $1.1 million contract to provide bituminous materials to the county.

With the cost of oil down about 30 percent, the county was able to save about $100,000, Fields said.

▪  County Board members approved a contract with Scheffel Boyle, an accounting firm to conduct the annual audit of the Circuit Clerk’s Office.

The cost of the audit, according to the proposal letter, is not to exceed $23,500.

▪  The County Board approved reallocating $1.26 million in community development block grant money previously allocated from 2012 through 2015 for demolition, housing rehabilitation, program administration and public service, to be used for public works projects throughout the county.

“The ... pot of money will be used to award more grants this fall, (because) our dollars are shrinking from HUD,” said Terry Beach, the executive director of the Intergovernmental Grants Department.

An $80,000 grant could go up to $100,000, Beach said.

The county board also approved reallocating an additional $1.15 million of community development block grant money for a road reconstruction project on St. Louis Avenue, from 10th Street to 29th Street, in East St. Louis.

The project is out for bid, Beach said.

“We have surplus dollars, some of which have been sitting dormant for four years, leftover (from) projects,” Beach said. “We’re going to combine those to be able to add more money in East St. Louis, to expedite it.”

▪  The County Clerk’s office is set to be closed for all services except election-related services on election days, a move the board approved Tuesday.

Election days are busy for county clerk’s offices, and almost all counties doing this, said County Clerk Thomas Holbrook.