Budgets continued to be an item of discussion at the Henry County Supervisors meeting this morning with both the Attorney and Planning and Zoning budgets presented.
County Engineer Bill Belzer provided a secondary roads update. He reported that his crews did well to manage Sunday’s freezing rain storm. They were out early in the morning putting material out and by noon they were slushing the roads off. He also discussed a new flashing light that will be put in by the DOT. It will be a flashing yellow light where Highway 34 and Business 34 meet. There will be road sensors that will set of the lights and warn those motorists of oncoming traffic. There will be two locations of lights and each one will have lights in two different directions. He also provided a list of lighted intersections in the county. The county is financially responsible for 20 of these lights and seven are under consideration. The top three in traffic count will probably installed this year. Those are: intersections in Swedesburg, James Ave and Racine at 78.
One item of note from the Attorney’s budget: a new juvenile probation program will be starting in the office soon. This is similar to their adult drug program and these juveniles will be handpicked for the intensive probation program that will be administered in their office.
Grace Friends Church appeared before the Board requested a reconsideration of their request of a property tax abatement. Many will remember that they were in a unique situation due to the timeline of their purchase and the fact that they are a non-taxable entity and they purchased it from Pilot Grove, which is a taxable entity. Dr. Savage brought up several points including the fact that the assessed value and the purchase price differed by almost $250,000 and a precedent in Jefferson County where an abatement was granted for a church and a parish home. He provided the church treasurer fund and a list of necessary improvements to the facility before ending it by saying that he was not asking or demanding but begging for the abatement.
Next to speak was attorney Jeff Thomas of the Bainter-Thomas Firm. He reiterated those points and closing the request was Pastor Deb Savage who stressed the importance of the church in the community. She said they paid the original $609 in taxes in good faith but the church was shocked to receive a bill for $7000 before asking the Supervisors to vote not with their head but with the spirit of the founding fathers. Gary See stated that according to Robert’s Rule or Orders: to reverse their decision those who voted against it would have to bring it up for reconsideration. Kent White is no longer on the Board so that leaves only Marc Lindeen. Lindeen said that new points had been brought up and he would like to think about the issue and readdress it in the future.
Finally, appointments were made for Sheriffs Deputies and the Auditor Deputy. Sheriff’s deputies are: Dan Wesley, Garret Cargill, Jason Sutton, Dean Walter, Randy Veldboom, Tracy Brooks, Chad Doak and Brandon Marqudt. There are four men on deputies reserve. Andrea Cook was appointed as the Auditor Deputy. These appointments will last through December 31st, 2016.