Macoupin County, IL

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BOARD ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2013-2014 COUNTY BUDGET

The County Board held a special meeting to adopt the county budget on August 26, 2013. For Fiscal Year 2013-2014 which begins September 1, 2013 and ends August 31, 2014, the Board voted unanimously 16-0 to approve the proposed General Fund and special fund budgets.

Board Chairman Mark Dragovich and CFO Gabe Springer laid out the $7.8 million General Fund operating budget proposal to the Board before discussing the plan in detail as well as the proposed special fund budgets. Springer went through the 31-page proposal detailing the budget plan which included a summary of the General Fund operating budget, a summary of the special fund budgets, and detail on each General Fund line item and each special fund budget.

"The operating budget being proposed shows an estimated surplus of more than $500,000 when accounting for what we consider to be one-time revenues this fiscal year," said Dragovich. However, Dragovich said that he and Springer also put together projections that exclude the one-time revenues to give a true sense of what the estimated surplus will be. "When we exclude one-time revenues we expect to receive for the upcoming fiscal year, we see an estimated surplus of approximately $32,000."

 After a lengthy discussion on the budget proposal, a unanimous vote resulted. Dragovich explained to the board that going through a thorough process beginning back in June with input from all county officials was important to bringing about the final budget plan. Further, Dragovich said that with all of the involvement from county officials and review by Board members, the adopted budget should prove to be a sufficient plan allowing for the continuation of county services.

A copy of the budget plan for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 can be found here.

 

RENOVATION TO HISTORIC COURTHOUSE BEGINS WITH GRANT-FUNDED PROJECT ON EXTERIOR NORTH STAIRS

Since mid-2012, the County had been having discussions about beginning an exterior renovation at the Historic Courthouse.  The Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse Grant through Landmarks Illinois, a non-for-profit dedicated to historic preservation, was an initial target of the County Board early on.  Through the collaboration between former Board Chairman Andy Manar and now current Board Chairman Mark Dragovich, the county’s grant application was prepared with the help of CFO Gabe Springer and accepted by Landmarks in September of 2012.  Following submittal, discussions between the County and Landmarks Illinois ensued about potential projects that could be funded if the application was approved.  Of highest importance was that in order to comply with grant stipulations, the project was required to be an exterior and high-visible project to the public.   In May of 2013, Macoupin County was given official notice that it would be awarded up to $100,000 from Landmarks Illinois’ Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse Grant (the largest grant available through the program) to proceed with an agreed-upon project renovating the exterior North Stairs of the Courthouse.    A copy of the grant agreement between the county and Landmarks Illinois can be found here.

On May 24, 2013, the Public Services Committee of the County Board opened bids for the first phase of a two-phase project to renovate the exterior North Stairs of the Macoupin County Courthouse.  The committee, having been given the power to act by the County Board on securing a contract for the initial phase of the project, voted to accept the low bid of $21,700.  According to the architect overseeing the job on behalf of the County, Matt Loyet of Loyet & Associates, the bid came in under the estimated budget for the initial phase of between $25,000 and $30,000.  A copy of the contract between the county and Loyet & Associates can be found here.  As noted above, the project is supported by a grant from Landmarks Illinois’ Richard H. Driehaus County Courthouse Grant program, a partnership of Landmarks Illinois and the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust.

Dragovich said that under the terms of the grant agreement with Landmarks Illinois, the county will provide matching funds for the project up to $100,000.   “It is our hope that we can complete the entire project for right around $200,000 so that we are able to fully maximize the grant funding that was received by the County for this project,” said Dragovich. 

The first phase of the project was recently completed in August and the advertising of bids for the second and final phase of the project are expected to be let in the second half of September with anticipated completion by the end of November.    According to Dragovich, the first phase of the project involved the cleaning of the exterior North Staircase in order to prepare for the second phase which will involve the repairing, replacing, and rebuilding of the stone work on the exterior stairs.  A copy of the contract for Phase I work can be found here.  Before and after pictures from the Phase I work can be found here.

Dragovich said he hopes the visibility of the North Stair renovation project can help to be a catalyst for additional renovation projects in the future.  He said the Board has discussed next steps for the renovation plan and that funds have been budgeted in the 2013-2014 budget for repairs to the roof and built-in guttering system of the Historic Courthouse provided the anticipated revenues are realized for the project.

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