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CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Board is scheduled tonight to consider two funding proposals related to a planned roadway improvement project on County Highway 18 north of Mattoon.

County Engineer Rick Johnson said the project will involve placing asphalt along the shoulders of Highway 18 from North 33rd Street/Cooks Mills Road to U.S. Route 45 later this year. He said this project will be funded by a $254,980 federal grant, plus $28,335 in county funding.

To facilitate the Highway 18 project's funding, the board will consider approving a local agency agreement for federal participation of highway safety funds and a local fund appropriation.

In other matters, the board will consider transferring money from the Coles County coroner’s special funds to the general fund for the approximately $10,000 purchase of a two body roll-in morgue and related equipment.  Coles County Coroner Ed Schniers said the purchase will be paid for with grant funding and cremation permit funding that are set aside for equipment purchases.

Schniers said the coroner's office typically relies on using the morgue at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, but must sometimes take remains to the Champaign County morgue if the hospital's morgue is full or otherwise unable to accept these remains. He said the roll-in morgue will give the coroner's office more flexibility for the temporary holding of remains.

The roll-in morgue will be kept across from Sarah Bush Lincoln in the former fire station at the Coles County Memorial Airport, Schniers said. This building is next to the Coles County 911 center, where the coroner's office is located.

Tonight, the board also will consider updating the Coles County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Kelly Lockhart, executive director of the county Regional Planning and Development Commission, said the council adopted this plan in 2005 and periodically updates this document to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements.

Lockhart said the updates to the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and its critical facilities maps account for changes to local emergency response capabilities, facilities that house hazardous materials, and schools and other buildings that are used by large amounts of people.

The board also will consider re-appointing Michael Moore and Mary Wetzel to the Coles County Public Health Board, and reappointing James Hayes to the Coles County Housing Authority. The board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. tonight in the Coles County Courthouse in Charleston.


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