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Local

Courthouse repairs ahead of schedule

HENNEPIN — The work crews at the Putnam County Courthouse will be working a little while longer this year.

Putnam County Board President Duane Calbow told the board at its Oct. 14 meeting that workers from Otto Baum Co. had finished repairing a stone band around the 175-year-old Putnam County Courthouse earlier than expected, which allows them to perform some repairs to the building’s facade before the weather changes. Workers will not have to stop for the winter and set up again in the spring to continue work.

“It’s going to save us a little bit of money,” Calbow said.

Continued work on this year’s building project called for board approval of the additional $17,178 to complete. The supplement was passed on a 3 to 1 vote with board member Willie Holmes as the lone dissenting vote. Holmes worked on the building staff at the courthouse for years and has cautioned restoration of the oldest continuously operating courthouse in Illinois is a luxury the county can not afford.

In other action, the board:

• Heard from former Putnam County Emergency Management Agency Director John Ehrhardt on completed trainings for acting supervisor Bob Cofoid. Other PCEMA personnel have also completed various trainings and work on the communications set-up for the PCEMA building is nearly completed. Meanwhile, the board is continuing its search for a new PCEMA coordinator.

• Heard from county zoning officer Jim Burger who said his office has received inquiries from businesses on zoning in the county. Berger indicated some of those inquiries were from prospective medical marijuana cultivation operations.

• Received a report from Marshall-Putnam-Woodford Regional Superintendent of Education Phyllis Glazier. The ROE will be split up and consolidated with other ROEs at year’s end, with Putnam County being folded into the LaSalle County ROE. Glazier also thanked the board for its support over the years.

• Discussed possibly sharing the cost of electronic recycling with other local governments in the county. The request came from Hennepin Mayor Kevin Coleman. Coleman noted last year’s e-recycling event gathered over 19,000 pounds of used electronics. Because the services are no longer free, that same amount would cost Hennepin $770. The next e-recycling date is Nov. 22.

• Approved increasing mileage reimbursement to 56 cents per mile.

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