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Board approves one fee increase, lays over others
Posted By Staff On August 27, 2010 @ 9:35 am In Happening Now | No Comments
• News and notes from the Aug. 26 Winnebago County Board meeting
By Stuart R. Wahlin
Although a vote was expected regarding a proposal to increase nearly 30 fees and permit costs assessed by the Winnebago County Health Department’s Environmental Division, expected to add nearly $40,000 to the department’s revenues for 2011, Republicans expressed hesitance, resulting in a layover until the Sept. 2 meeting.
“The Republican Caucus had a lot of questions about this,” John Ekberg (R-10) indicated. Some members of the caucus are concerned about raising fees given the poor economy, although 26 of the 29 increases would be $20 or less—many under $10.
The sharpest fee hike—more than 30 percent—would be for new soil borings, increasing from $301 to $393.
George Anne Duckett (D-12), Angie Goral (D-7), Paul Gorski (D-5), Bob Hastings (D-13), Pearl Hawks (D-6), Karen Hoffman (D-11) and Dorothy Redd (D-6) voted against the layover.
Because the proposed increases would not take effect until next fiscal year, Public Health Administrator Mike Bacon said the two-week delay would not pose any difficulty.
Board members had no problem agreeing to heartily increase penalties associated with building permit transgressions, however. The board voted unanimously to amend the county’s building code to step up fines issued for work having begun without a permit.
Prior to the vote for the amendment, the affected portion of the code stated only, “When a permit is required by this code, and work is started or proceeded with, prior to obtaining such permit, the fees above specified shall be doubled.”
The amended stipulation now reads: “When a permit is required by this code, and work is started or proceeded with prior to obtaining said permit, the fees established in Section 108.2 shall be doubled and not less than $250.00. This penalty may be waived by the building official if the person in violation has not obtained a permit in the last year and is the owner of the property. For the second offense within a twelve (12) month period, starting or proceeding with the work prior to obtaining a permit, the fees…shall be doubled and not less than $500.00 plus an additional fee of $500.00 shall be paid for each day work continued without said permit. For any subsequent such instance within a twelve (12) month period, the fees…shall be tripled and not less than $750.00 plus an additional fee of $750.00 shall be paid for each day work continued without said permit.”
New Milford asks county to put up a stink about the stink
Paul Gorski (D-5) said he met with New Milford officials, who asked that he pass along their plea to County Board members to help resolve increased odors attributed to area landfills, one of which—Veolia ES Orchard Hills—lies just over the Ogle County line.
“The odors from those landfills are affecting their health, quality of life and their home values, they believe,” Gorski explained. “Whatever assistance we can give them, they’re asking for.”
Meantime, Gorski continues urging residents to report the odors to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
No comments were made, and no questions were asked, during a public hearing regarding a proposal to issue $4.09 million in bond debt to finance the purchase and renovation of the City Plaza, 555. N. Court St. in Rockford, in which the Health Department will consolidate three of its facilities.
• Rejecting a $112,690.60 bid from Northern Contracting, Inc., of Sycamore, for the installation of traffic signs in Burritt, Pecatonica and Shirland townships, as well as in the Village of Pecatonica. According to County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff, the county estimated the cost to be less than $25,000.
• Rejecting a $163,328.61 bid by Alliance Contractors, Inc., of Woodstock, for concrete pavement patching on behalf of the Highway Department. Vanderwerff indicated the bid exceeded estimates by 65 percent.
• Authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Loves Park to allow the city’s construction and maintenance of sidewalks and paths along county rights-of-way. Per the agreement, the county is also indemnified of any potential claims resulting from public use of the sidewalks and multiuse paths.
Jim Hughes, deputy director of Regional Planning & Economic Development, was appointed to complete the five-year term of the late Eugene Quinn on the Winnebago County Housing Authority Board. His term expires September 2014.
Board member Lynne Strathman (R-1) was appointed to a two-year term on the Winnebago County Extension Board, expiring September 2012.
Board member Angie Goral (D-7) was reappointed to a two-year term on the Winnebago County Extension Board, expiring September 2012.
Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Jim Webster was reappointed to a two-year term on the Winnebago County Extension Board, expiring September 2012.
Robert Johnston was reappointed to a five-year term, expiring September 2015, on the Winnebago County Housing Authority Board.
The week of Aug. 30 was proclaimed Workforce Development Week.
Tom Owens (R-1) presided in Chairman Scott Christiansen’s (R) absence. Dave Fiduccia (R-4) and Mel Paris (D-8) were also absent.
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