After using the same auditing firm for nearly two decades, the Henry County Board opted to save money and switch providers.

Henry County’s books have been audited by Carpentier Mitchell & Goddard & Co., LLC, of Moline, for more than 20 years (with a lone year switch to the accountants at Wipfli, which has offices in Dixon and Sterling, before returning to the Moline firm).

The board paid $58,000 for its fiscal year 2017 audit.

Carpentier Mitchell & Goddard was in the mix of four firms bidding for the county’s approval, but lost to Naperville-based Lauterbach & Amen.

Lauterbach & Amen submitted a three-year bid, with the audit costing $30,200 the first year, $31,100 the second and $32,000 the third.

“It’s a three-year letter of engagement, but the county can exit if dissatisfied,” said county administrator Erin Knackstedt.

“Lauterbach & Amen was by far the low bid,” said finance committee chairman Loren Rathjen, of Colona.

Rathjen said county department heads had asked to stay with Carpentier Mitchell & Goddard, but “for $20,000 we couldn’t justify that.”

Carpentier Mitchell & Goddard had submitted a $56,000 bid for the county’s audit work.

Lauterbach & Amen is a firm that only does government audits, said Knackstedt, adding they’d completed audits in Rock Island and for the Geneseo Park District and were familiar with the area.

County board members voted unanimously to hire Lauterbach & Amen during the Thursday, Jan. 17 board meeting.

Also at the meeting, county board members:

• Were introduced to the county’s new civil engineer, Brandon Rokis. Rokis is an Air Force veteran and native of Geneseo. Prior to his hiring, the county had been without a civil engineer “for several years” said transportation chairman Jeff Orton, of Geneseo.

“We think he’ll be a great addition to the staff,” Orton added.

Rokis, who earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Florida, told the board he “looked forward to working with the county.”

• Approved the purchase of two new vehicles. An animal control truck, with topper and lift kit, was purchased from Gustafson Ford, in Kewanee, for $31,200. The department’s previous truck was a 2010 with 180,000 miles, said public safety chairman Shawn Kendall, of Galva. A tandem axle dump truck was purchased from Thompson Truck & Trailer, in Sterling, for $207,966. The price came after receiving trade-in value of $30,000 and $17,000 for two other county trucks, said Orton, the transportation chairman.

• Learned the Illinois Department of Public Health had approved moving furniture and equipment into the new therapy wing addition at Hillcrest Home. The county nursing home is still awaiting state approval for residents to use the new facility.

“It’s been a project long in the making,” said health and social services chairman Jan May, of Kewanee. “We’re very proud of (the addition) and can’t wait for our residents to see and use it.”

May said Hillcrest Home would hold an open house in the future to showcase the addition to community members. “We can’t wait to show it off,” she said.

• Received a report from Lynn Sutton, of Kewanee, chairman of the planning and development committee, that his committee is looking at ways to “streamline the zoning process.” Four county committees currently are involved in zoning decision making. Sutton said he hopes to see that reduced to “three or even two.”

• Approved appointing James Mickley as a Geneseo Fire Protection District trustee. Mickley will serve a three-year term. The board also appointed Jay Snodgrass to the Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee for a three-year term.

• Learned county employees Knackstedt, Stephanie Reed and Lorna Brown had all been named Freedom of Information Officers for Henry County.