CHARLESTON -- Coles County's budget for the upcoming fiscal year shows nearly the same revenue and spending amounts as for the current year.

The budget set for approval by the Coles County Board at its meeting on Tuesday comes to slightly more than $12.9 million.

County employees are slated to receive a 2-percent salary increase when the new fiscal year begins on Dec. 1.

To cover that, county officials said there's no money in the budget for new equipment purchases, and such purchases will be presented to the board on a case-by-case basis.

Along with the new budget and fiscal year is renewal of employee health insurance. The proposal that goes before the board Tuesday changes plans and would result in a premium reduction.

The proposed change from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Aetna would reduce employees' monthly premium contributions by about $25 with one plan and about $84 with a second plan option.

Meanwhile, members of a group opposing the county's reassessment of commercial and industrial property plan to again attend the meeting, according to one member.

James DiNaso of the Concerned Taxpayers of Coles County said the group will continue to address the board each month "until there's a resolution" to the issue.

Concerned Taxpayers members and others have expressed concerns and complaints about the reassessment since a year ago, when the first notices of new property values went to business owners.

The meeting is set to take place in the board's meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse. The meetings have been in one of the courthouse's courtrooms the last few months because of attendance.

Other votes scheduled for the meeting include:

  • Reducing the speed limit on a 2.7-mile section of Old State Road in Charleston Township from 55 mph to 45 mph.

Residents of the area requested the change and a study justified the reduction because of the number of entrances to the road and other factors, county Engineer Rick Johnson said.

  • Approving an agreement with the village of Lerna for the county Sheriff's Office to provide ordinance enforcement.

The Sheriff's Office will charge an hourly rate to the village, which doesn't have its own police department.

  • Approving an agreement with Hutton Township to replace a culvert on County Road 2300E about six miles southeast of Charleston. The county and township would split the $18,500 cost of the project.
  • Authorizing an agreement with Ashmore Township for a culvert replacement on County Road 2080E about two miles east of Charleston. The total cost is $12,600.
  • Approving appointments to two drainage districts and renewing the annual operating grant for the Dial-A-Ride public transportation program. Both votes were postponed from last month because of problems with that meeting's agenda.
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