CHARLESTON -- The Coles County Board is set to hire a new county supervisor of assessments, filling a position that's been vacant, except on an interim basis, since November.

The candidate, Denise Shores, is the only applicant who's passed the state-required test for the position, board Chairman Mike ZuHone said.

Shore's appointment is on the agenda for the board's meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, when a vote on authorizing a bond issue for upcoming maintenance and repair projects is also scheduled.

Denise Shores


Shores is a rural Lerna resident and currently a deputy assessor for the multi-township assessor for Charleston, Ashmore, Hutton, Seven Hickory and Pleasant Grove townships.

ZuHone said she was the only candidate the board interviewed during a special meeting last month. If the board approves her appointment, she would begin her duties on Friday, he said.

The lack of a candidate who passed the state test was one of the reasons that kept the board from making the appointment earlier.

Shores said she passed it in May and said it took her "multiple" times before she succeeded.

"Everybody has difficulty with it," she said.

Shores said she wants to try to improve the county assessment office's efficiency and thinks "organization is going to be the key."

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There's been no permanent county supervisor of assessments since former Supervisor Karen Biddle retired in November. That came after the board informed her that she could apply for but wasn't guaranteed reappointment term.

Meanwhile, the bond issue wouldn't exceed $600,000 and would fund three projects plus engineering costs, according to member Stan Metzger, chairman of the board's Finance Committee.

"These are things that need to be done," Metzger said.

They include repairs to the courthouse's lower-level elevator, used in conjunction with the building's handicapped accessible entrance. Work on that should start this year while the timing of the other projects is to be determined, Metzger said.

The other work would address the courthouse's roof and gutters.

Metzger said county sales tax revenue would be used to repay the bonds, similar to how the county funded other construction projects in the past.

The board's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in its meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse. Other votes scheduled include:

  • Approving a contract with Depew & Owen Builders of Centralia for nearly $279,000 to replace a bridge on County Road 1600N north of Bushton.

County Engineer Rick Johnson said the work should start next month and the road will be closed during construction.

  • Authorizing an agreement with Cumberland County to replace a bridge on the county line about eight miles southwest of Mattoon.
  • Approving agreements with Paradise, Morgan and North Okaw townships for culvert replacements.
  • Approving an agreement with the cities of Charleston and Mattoon requiring training before volunteering at disaster sites.
  • Increasing the permit fee in the county fireworks ordinance from $5 to $100.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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