Henry County Courthouse repairs nearing start


The Henry County Board of Directors met on Thursday, August 19. Jeff Orton, Jan May and Jim Padilla were absent.

The board meeting followed a town hall meeting on how to disburse the $ 4.25 million in ARPA funds the county recently received. An additional $ 4.25 million will be sent in 2022.

Among the topics discussed at the meeting, the roof design specification was given the green light. The general contractor has been authorized to carry out the roof design specification, construction documents and plans, asbestos reduction and remediation (if applicable) and due diligence during the construction process. call for tenders.

A structural engineer visited the steeple and reported that a metal bar that prevents the bell from ringing no longer holds it in place. The wooden casing has rotted and emergency repairs must be made to consolidate it until a crane can be available during the roofing work. The roof of the courthouse was considered to have passed its useful life.

The council accepted the creation of an ad hoc committee made up of council members and community members. The county has until Dec.31, 2024 to spend the $ 9.4 million receivable from the government, under specific guidelines. If, for any reason, a Board member does not retain his seat on the Board, he will retain his seat on the Ad Hoc Committee. Community members interested in serving on the committee should contact the county administrator, Erin Knackstadt at 309-937-3400 or via hernycty.com.

The county council also approved new contracts for the circuit clerk, county clerk, coroner, treasurer and employees of the sheriff’s office. They are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

The Midland Wind project will go ahead. Earthworks will be done this fall and the towers are expected to be erected in the spring. An online publication date is scheduled for 2022.

New Hillcrest Administrator Robin Barnes and Director of Nursing Tara Yancey presented a brief program on Hillcrest Home. Three staff members dated Covid, as well as a resident. Family members are currently not allowed to visit. Yancey spoke about a program they implemented, where they partnered with Black Hawk College to train new assistants and encourage them to continue their education with incentives.

Jami Johnson, from rural Coal Valley, asked the board to consider what they could do to help with a 90-acre plot of land near the Oakwood Country Club that was found to contain Native American burial mounds. He said the property is currently expected to be used for the development of luxury homes. He contacted the IDNR and the Ministry of the Interior regarding the rescue of these burial sites.

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