Macoupin County, IL

Macoupin County Courthouse Hours of Operation 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

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COUNTY CHECKBOOK NOW SEARCHABLE ONLINE

Macoupin County taxpayers have an easy, new way of seeing how their tax dollars are being spent. County Clerk Pete Duncan recently announced his office has placed the County’s checkbook online for the first time. This newest open government tool can be found at www.macoupincheckbook.com.

Users of MacoupinCheckbook can quickly sort through available data based on department head, budget, vendor information, what money is being spent on and payment date. Nearly all County payments can be viewed on the site down to individual transactions.

Budget, expense and vendor data will be updated on a monthly basis after each County Board meeting when bills are approved for payment. Available data goes back to September 1, 2005, when the County moved to its current financial software. The checkbook is all open data, meaning it is searchable and can be downloaded.

While all the information included on MacoupinCheckbook was previously available by request on paper printouts, County Clerk Pete Duncan said placing a decade’s worth of payment data online demonstrates his and his staff’s commitment to open government. “By allowing any taxpayer in Macoupin County 24/7 access to see for themselves the County’s checkbook, the accountability of County government is strengthened, the door to budget decisions is opened, and public awareness of all the County’s services is increased. It’s another great example of how my office is utilizing technology to provide better, smarter government.”

MacoupinCheckbook.com is just the latest in open government initiatives launched by Duncan and the County Clerk’s staff. Just last year, MacoupinBudget.com, a budget visualization tool showing how tax payer dollars were spent over the last twenty years, and MacoupinMinutes.com, a portal with decades worth of County Board agendas, minutes and subscription signups for agenda email notifications, were started.

Anyone with questions on the checkbook is encouraged to contact the County Clerk’s office at (217) 854-3214 ext. 707 or email at pete.duncan@macoupincountyil.gov.

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.  HHe 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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