Housing Authority has strategic plan, Henry County Board learns

Margi Washburn, correspondent
Henry County Courthouse

The Housing Authority of Henry County has a strategic plan to carry them through 2019, the authority's director told the Henry County Board this week.

The authority's funding is now at 80 percent of revenue, director Kate Barton told the board. Their operating budget is $4.5 million.

Barton also noted that all of the housing sites have maintained a 97 percent occupancy rate. She said Parkside Apartments in Kewanee has had a 100 percent occupancy rate since it opened.

Project NOW Executive Director Maureen "Mo" Hart updated the board on its mission to alleviate poverty, with community services such as Head Start, heating bill assistance, rent, food, clothing, teeth extractions, weatherization, home modifications, home rehabilitation and help with business start-ups. Hart said her budget is between $12 and $13 million, with a staff of about 140.

In other business:

•Board member Karen Urick noted that the Illinois Department of Public Aid is six months behind in its payments in the amount of $690,862. There were eight new hires in November. Urick said the Henry County Health Department is $1.2 million behind, the greatest deficit they've ever had.

•Administration chairman Roger Gradert brought the board a revision in comp time for all departments, from a previous 80 hours to 120 hours. The sheriff's department has 240 hours. The board approved the change by a vote of 12-8.

•Tim Nimrick of Kewanee was appointed to the Henry County Housing Authority; Denise Haga of Kewanee was appointed to the Henry County Board of Health to fill out the unexpired term of Walter "Van" DeVilder; Pat Ripperger of Alpha was appointed to the Henry County Planning Committee; and Marshall Jones of Kewanee was appointed to the Henry County Zoning Board of Appeals.

•Reappointed to the Henry County Mental Health Board were Penny Carlson, Gail Ripka, Amy Jackson, Christie Schilling and Patrick Leuck.