Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 25, 2014

Shelter gets fire protection

By RICK HAYES rick.hayes@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Following a recommendation from Animal Control Shelter Supervisor Martin Boykin, the Jefferson County Board approved the purchase and maintenance of fire extinguishers for the shelter.

Campbell Fire & Safety submitted a quote to the Public Safety Committee last week, however, the committee took no action on the quote, instead asking Boykin to research what was needed and required at the shelter.

After talking to city and county fire officials and a state inspector, and checking prices of extinguishers at local retail outlets, Boykin recommended the Campbell quote be accepted. The county will purchase two or three extinguishers and they will be inspected annually at a cost of just under $200. Board member Steve Draege also recommended Boykin keep an extinguisher in his vehicle and Major Scott Burge of the sheriff’s department said he may be able to equip Boykin’s vehicle with an extinguisher.

Comparatively, prices at local retail outlets for extinguishers were about $120 for the extinguishers, although the county would’ve still been required to have them inspected annually.

The Board also received quotes from three computer companies to upgrade computer equipment and to become FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) compliant for e-mails and auto archiving.

Two of the companies — JK Computer Solutions and Kunce Computers — submitted quotes on a cloud-based system while Concepte of Illinois presented a price based on a hardware-based system. Committee Chair Robert Watt recommended the Concepte of Illinois quote, based on information he received from his son, who is a I.T. employee at Continental Tire of the Americas. Concept’s quote was $12,222 plus an annual support fee of $1,500. Kunce’s quote was $19,470; and JK’s bid was based on an hourly basis, with $82.50 an hour as the base price.

Watt suggested holding the quotes until the new fiscal year begins in December although he clarified there is $15,000 in this year’s current budget for technical support.

County Chairman Robert White suggested the quotes be tabled, based on the possibility the county may be employing an I.T. expert, possibly as early as April.

A policy against harassment and sexual misconduct was also tabled after wording of the policy drew criticism from board member James Malone. The policy was also referred to the Public Safety Committee for further action.

Following an executive session, State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman informed the Board the language included in the policy is mandated by state statute under the Human Rights Act.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

n The Board heard a report from Jere Shaw, a member of the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board, concerning finances and the maintenance of the lake. Shaw reported the Board has reduced taxes 25 percent since 2005 and the District has close to $6 million in assets. He said he and fellow Jefferson County board members Jim Rippy and David Stewart are continuing their efforts to reduce tax rates and keep water rates at a minimum.

n White reminded members the County Board has no authority to hire and fire employees in offices, other than the highway, animal control and the board’s administrative assistant. The comment was made under the “chairman’s comments” section of the meeting. White also reminded members of their responsibility to attend committee meetings — an apparent aggravation as a result of a lack of a quorum at last week’s Technology Committee meeting.

n No action was taken on restructuring the payment of monthly claims; and a new credit card policy introduced in committee last week. Those items will be brought back to the Fiscal Committee in March.

n The Board went into executive session to discuss employees at 8:22 p.m. White told media members no action would be taken following the executive session.