Henry County Board updated on taxing process, fiscal stability

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
Henry County Courthouse

The Henry County Board met Thursday May 20.  Bill Preston was the only member absent. 

The Board was given a presentation by the Treasurer, the County Clerk and a representative from the independent auditing firm that does Henry County's books. It followed the taxing process from the original assessment of property through the taxing process, collection and tax sale for delinquent properties.  Jen Martinson from Lauderbach and Amen LLP, then described what is involved in auditing the books for the County. 

The county's fund balances are up to $29.8 million after they closed the fiscal year.  The county's pension liability is 99% funded, and the county has six months cash on hand in the general fund.  Finance Chairman Kelli Parsons stated that she felt the County was in pretty good shape. 

Lynn Sutton, chairman of Planning and Development Committee asked the Board to adopt a resolution opposing SB1602, working it's way through the  Illinois Senate.  The bill seeks to remove local control regarding zoning and land use, particularly regarding wind farms, from the involved counties.  The resolution passed with a 19-0 vote. 

Rosemary Rathjen noted that the County has applied for a Juvenile Judicial Grant specifically aimed at providing for juveniles who may have to testify.  More on this grant will be available in the future.  

Hillcrest Home is doing well, with 73 residents and  no Covid cases currently, residents are using the dining halls, and visitors are being received.  Staffing continues to be a problem, but the incentive program for employees willing to pick up additional shifts seems to be helping. 

Transportation Department chairman Jeff Orton requested that signs prohibiting engine braking near the Cleveland Quarry be placed along the highways accessing the facility.  Trucking coming out of the Quarry are coming uphill and there should be no need for engine braking.