BY TINA KETTER
OREGON — Tuesday night the Ogle County board voted down a resolution that would raise the salary for the Ogle County Board of Review. In a 9-13 vote the board defeated the resolution that would raise the rate from $2000 to $3000 plus an additional $500 per year if there was an appeal filed on the nuclear plant and a hearing is held.
Voting for the resolution were board members Jim Barnes, Larry Boes, John Finfrock, Kim Gouker, Marcia Heuer, Dan Janes, Lynne Kilker, Kim Stahl and Bill Welty. Voting against the salary increase were Jason Bauer, Max Baumgardner, Dorothy Bowers, Bobbie Colbert, Bob DeArvil, Richard Gronewold, Lyle Hopkins, Fred Horner, Skip Kenney, Patricia Saunders, Ashley Simms, Paul White and Dennis Williams. Absent from the meeting were Mel Messer and Marguerite Nye.
The county board reduced the salary from $4500 to $2000 in October of 2011. County Board Chairman Jim Barnes sited the reason for the reduction to the BOR was due to the amount of time the board of review put in was minimal compared to the pay received.
In December long-time members Jerry Griffin and Paul Lower resigned from their positions. One of the reasons cited as lack of pay. Griffin thought the board mishandled the situation and felt it more appropriate to change salaries at the beginning of an appointment or term rather than mid-way thru the cycle.
Currently the BOR is comprised of Joe Yockey, who was appointed in May of 2011 and Robert Goodman of Byron and Thomas Lewandowski of Oregon. Goodman and Lewandowski were appointed to fill Griffin and Lower’s positions.
No further discussion was held after the resolution was defeated and salaries will stay at $2000 per year as voted on last fall.
In other news
The Ogle County Board under the direction of the State’s Attorney voted to postpone putting anything on the ballot for Electrical Aggregation for the county until next spring. State law prohibits putting a referendum on the ballot for 23 months after a referendum has been defeated. The referendum was defeated in the fall election.
The board voted unanimously to approve a resolution granting a real estate tax abatement to new Big R Store which will be located in the old Rochelle Wal Mart buildings.
The percentage abatement will be for five years and include: 90 percent for the first year; 75 percent for the second year; 60 percent for the third year; 45 percent for the fourth year; and 30 percent for the fifth year. The total abatements for the subject property for all taxing districts may not exceed the total aggregate amount of $4,000,000.
After a lengthy discussion between board members and audience the board voted 17-5 to spend up to $4,500 on an acoustics study for the county board room.
Board member Paul White disagreed with the spending at this time, “There are 3 to 4 meetings a month in this room. At this time with the scarcity of revenue I think the money can be better spent.”
Several board members and audience members disagreed and said the microphones cause and echo and makes it hard to hear in the room.
Voting against the study were Jason Bauer, Dorothy Bowers, Richard Gronewold, Patricia Saunders and Paul White.
Employees and retirees of the county will see an increase in their insurance premiums. In a 17-5 vote the county voted to increase insurance rates 14.6 percent above the premiums charged during the plan year of 2012. The increase will go into effect on November 1, 2012 for participants and enrollees of the plan employed or associated with agencies not directly rated with the Ogle County Governments. All participants and enrollees of the plan employed or associated with the Ogle County Government will increase on Dec. 1.
The increase is due in part to a large number of claims on the county’s insurance. Board member Kim Gouker said they are working to try to find out a way to reduce this and find cost savings programs.
The increase for employees will be $23 for singles; $48 for employee plus one dependent; and $57 for families. The county will pay an additional $69 for singles; $144 for employee plus one dependent; and $171 for families.
Voting against the increase in insurance was Dorothy Bowers, Bob DeArvil, John Finfrock, Marcia Heuer and Bill Welty.
Appointments and Vacancies
The board appointed Edward O’Brien to the Ogle 911 ETSB, citizen at large.
The board appointed Lt. Randall Hilliard to the Ogle 911 ETSB, Sheriff’s Office designee.
The board appointed Cory Tveit to the Ogle 911 ETSB, Fire/EMS Service.
The board appointed Richard Mott to the Ogle 911 ETSB, Fire/EMS Service.
The board appointed Marcus A. Wood, Leaf River Fire Protection District.
The board appointed Martin G. Portner, Lost Nation/New Landing RCD.
The board postponed appointments to the Board of Review and Civic Center Authority Board.
There are five vacancies to the Ogle County Civic Center Authority.
Application and resume deadline is Friday, August 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office located at 105 S. 5th St., Suite 104, Oregon.
The Ogle County Board will hold their next meeting on August, 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m.