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Coles County Board considering $13.5 million budget

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Coles County Board Oct. 12

Members of the Coles County board gather at the Coles County courthouse on 651 Jackson Ave. for their monthly board meeting on Tuesday. 

CHARLESTON — The Coles County operating budget is expected to be introduced to the County Board for approval next month.  

The spending plan totals $13.5 million, compared to $12.9 million for the current budget. The fiscal year ends Nov. 30. 

The full document is at co.coles.il.us

County Board member Stan Metzger during a meeting Tuesday said he plans to seek board approval at the Nov. 9 session. 

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Coles County resident Rob Perry addressed the board about Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding, or ESSER grants. Perry noted that the schools in the county had received several millions in federal dollars.

These grants were given to schools throughout the nation to help schools rebound in various ways from the negative impacts caused by the pandemic. The school districts are given liberty to use many of these grants for various purposes not related directly to the pandemic.

Perry hopes that the increased grant funding given to the schools could lessen the burden of local taxes.

“I'm looking for some relief from the standpoint of the taxpayer,” said Perry. “If they don't have to levy, what they've been levying, it's time to give it back.”

While Perry did not expect the county board to take action to resolve any matters since this was an issue the school board handles, he urged members of the board to look into the matter.

 “As the board, you've got the right to question the levees,” said Perry as he addressed the board. “You've got the right to ask why.”

Before the meeting ended, county board member Rick Shook voiced his disapproval of Eastern Illinois University’s decision to change the name of Douglas Hall. 

The building is named after Stephen A. Douglas, the U.S. senator who expressed pro-slavery views. 

EIU announced it will be looking to change the name and will be soliciting ideas for the name soon. Only the EIU board of trustees has the power to finalize name changes of campus buildings.

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