BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Vermilion County Board committee members passed an ordinance Thursday they hope will never be used.
Members of the finance and personnel and property committees discussed in a joint meeting Thursday evening an ordinance establishing a $1.5 million line of credit between the county’s general fund and the Public Safety Building Fund.
Auditor Linda Lucas Anstey told committee members that reimbursements from the Public Building Commission had begun to slow down, leaving the county at $400,000 in checking for those reimbursements — short of what is preferred.
As a result, she said the ordinance was proposed now in case those reimbursements fall further behind, adding she did not want to run out like Vermilion Manor Nursing Home. The facility was stuck short on funds after state payments became further and further behind.
Under the current set up, the Public Building Commission runs the Juvenile Detention Center and the Public Safety Building. The county makes rent and lease payments to the Public Building Commission at the beginning of the fiscal year.
During the course of the year, the commission then makes monthly reimbursements for county expenses such as employee wages, food, laundry and other areas.
“Optimistically, we’re going to be OK,” Anstey told board members.
“It’s OK if one of the circuit clerk’s funds runs a little short,” she said. “When one of our big operations does, we want to make sure there’s a safety net.”
Both the finance and personnel committee and the property committee voted unanimously to approve the measure.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, committee members voted to approve an amendment to the building and grounds general fund in the amount of $39,425.
Mark Cravens, superintendent of building and grounds, said additional funds were necessary as a result of the county taking over maintenance of the Vermilion County Courthouse from the Public Building Commission.
In the past, the commission has handled heavy maintenance issues while the county covered lighter maintenance, such as cleaning of the building. Funds to pay the commission were taken from leftovers from a courthouse renovation bond passes in the 1980s.
Money from that courthouse renovation bond, however, has run out, according to Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard. He added the county is going to take it over in order to try to do a better job and keep track of expenses and maintenance at the building.
The funds approved by the board Thursday will go toward the creation of a second shift position to assist in maintenance at the courthouse.