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home : news : news Monday, May 30, 2016

2/5/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Treasurer wants DeWitt office open for tax time

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

Clinton County treasurer Rhonda McIntyre is asking county officials to make arrangements that would allow her department to open its office at the county's new satellite building in DeWitt in March.

McIntyre asked the Clinton County Board of Supervisors to schedule parking lot improvements outside the month of March so the treasurer's office can open its DeWitt location to accept property tax payments.

March and September are some of the busiest months for the treasurer's office because the county distributes property tax bills in February and August, she noted.

McIntyre said she'd like to have the DeWitt location available for residents of western Clinton County during the busy tax season, even if the opening is only temporary and the office has to be shut down later so parking lot work can proceed.

"Give everybody the convenience for tax time," McIntyre said.

However, it was unclear whether the request is feasible due to accessibility issues.

Building maintenance manager Corey Johnson said provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may prevent the move because the building currently has no handicapped-accessible entrance.

The facility is exempt from the ADA requirement while construction is ongoing, but it must have an accessible entrance once it opens for regular business, Johnson said.

Sheriff's office employees who already are using the building are accessing it through a rear door that does meet ADA standards, Johnson said.

Supervisor Brian Schmidt said the county will have a better idea of its potential timetable after Feb. 10, when bids are due for the parking lot improvements and sheriff's office garage.

The board has been waiting for the bid results to determine if it can save any money by keeping the satellite building closed during parking lot construction to speed up the work. Without substantial savings, the supervisors have indicated they'll move as quickly as possible to relocate equipment and staff from the annex building to the new facility.

McIntyre asked the board to consider alternatives that would allow the treasurer's office to open before the parking lot work is complete, such as a temporary, plywood ramp at the entrance.

"That way we'll have a chance to get taxes in and work around any other issues," she said.

Davisson said the board needs at least another week before it can give McIntyre clear direction.

"We'll open our bids, and then we'll see what we want to do," she said.

Hearing set Feb. 19 for sale of DeWitt annex building

The supervisors will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, to hear input on the proposed sale of the Clinton County annex building in DeWitt, located at 329 E. 11th St.

The board is proposing to sell the property by sealed bid, with a minimum bid of $167,000 based on its appraised value.

After the hearing, the board will vote on a resolution to proceed with the sale and set a deadline for receiving bids.

County attorney Mike Wolf advised the supervisors to consider how they want to market the property if a sale is approved and said it may be advantageous to advertise to businesses in the Quad Cities.

Officials were unsure of the zoning designation, but DeWitt city administrator Steve Lindner confirmed the property is zoned for commercial use.

The date a buyer could take possession will be determined once the supervisors have finalized a timetable for moving staff from the annex to the newly renovated Clinton County Satellite Office building.

Bids will require a 10 percent down payment, which can be forfeited if the top bidder fails to close on the purchase within two months.

Auditor supports drainage law change

With the board of supervisors set to travel to Des Moines for Clinton County Day at the state legislature Feb. 6, auditor Eric Van Lancker asked them to lobby for legislation that would make it easier to pay for drainage district repair projects.

Current law sets a $1,000 limit on pay warrants the auditor's office issues for drainage district repairs, Van Lancker said, which means staff must administer 20 separate pay warrants on a $20,000 repair project.

Van Lancker asked the supervisors to show their support for Senate File 2055, which would increase the limit on drainage district warrants to $5,000.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved revisions to the county Information Technology policy.

•Approved the appointment of Clayton Rabe as a correctional officer in the Clinton County sheriff's office at an hourly wage of $15.97.

•Accepted the resignation of Ben Watts as a correctional officer and approved his appointment as a deputy sheriff at an hourly rate of $22.12.

•Approved a contract for court interpretation services with Illinois/Iowa Center for Independent Living with a base cost of $35 per hour.

•Scheduled a public hearing on a proposal to install an emergency generator at the county administration building for 11 a.m. Feb. 19.

•Declined to take action on a request to pay a portion of the costs for a streetlight on Y-4E near Big Rock because the intersection doesn't meet the county's policy requirements.

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