Douglas County Board extends declaration of emergency due to COVID-19

By Kendra Hennis
Staff Writer

The monthly meeting of the Douglas County Board was called to order at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15. The board met in social-distancing fashion with Bibby Appleby joining in via Zoom.

During the consent agenda the board approved resolution 20-R-18, an extension of a declaration of emergency due to COVID-19 for 30 days. The board also approved the fourth amendment to the bylaws, which became effective June 12, 2020, in reference to the open meeting acts.

Appleby asked if this meant that the board would continue to meet via Zoom. Board Chairman Don Munson explained that this would allow them to extend the procedures in case the board has to switch back to Zoom only, but at this time since the board is meeting the guidelines for social-distancing they will continue to hold their meetings in person. The meetings are also streamed on the Douglas County website.

The board also sent their thank you to Andrew Bennett and Boy Scout Troop 95 for their work in cleaning up and installing new sheving at Douglas County Animal Control. The troop also collected donations for the shelter.

When taking questions from visitors, Michael Holmes asked the board how they arrived at the 1000 foot setback at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm. County Engineer Jim Crane explained that they arrived at the decision in a committee composed of people from the area and in the community. Crane said hey also looked at what other wind farms in the area were doing to reach their decision. Holmes asked the board to consider extending the setback requirements due to new requirements as well as the increased size of machinery. Munson responded that the board will review the ordinances when they can and make any changes they deemed necessary.

The board also:

* Approved the minutes of the June 17 regular board meeting.

* Approved the payments of the county’s financial obligations.

* Approved the reports of fees of county offices.

* Appointed Dustin Ingram as Arcola Fire District Trustee for a three year term beginning July 1, 2020.

* Approved resolution 20-R-16 cancelling a certificate of purchase for parcel 04-03-02-302-006.

* Approved resolution 20-R-16 cancelling a certificate of purchase for parcel 04-03-03-413-008.

* Approved the election judges selected and filed in the county office.

* Approved the low bid and awarded contract to Surmeir and Surmeir Inc in the amount of $575 per ton for the disposal of recycled crushed concrete.

* Approved the county bridge petition for CATB section 20-01134-00-BR in Arcola Township as recommended by the County Engineer and the Road and Bridge Subcommittee.

* Adjourned until the August 19 board meeting at 9 a.m.

Editor’s Note: More information as well as subcommittee reports can be found on the Douglas County website.

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