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Saline County board returns to in-person meetings, with caution

  • Saline County Board members and others attending the county's in-person board meeting Thursday sit spread out and wearing face coverings during the meeting.

    Saline County Board members and others attending the county's in-person board meeting Thursday sit spread out and wearing face coverings during the meeting.
    Travis Deneal photo

  • Saline County Board member Wes Sherrod wears a face mask during the Saline County Board's meeting Thursday. It was the first in-person county board meeting held since the novel coronavirus resulted in closures across the state in March.

    Saline County Board member Wes Sherrod wears a face mask during the Saline County Board's meeting Thursday. It was the first in-person county board meeting held since the novel coronavirus resulted in closures across the state in March.
    TRAVIS DENEAL PHOTO

 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
updated: 6/30/2020 8:56 AM

ELDORADO -- Saline County Board members conducted their first in-person county board meeting in a few months on Thursday while taking precautions and observing social distancing.

Board members, officeholders and those in attendance met in the cafeteria of Eldorado High School, seated in folding chairs spread out six feet or more from each other. Almost all in attendance also used a face covering or mask.

After Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a state closure order on March 18, county board meetings had been conducted by teleconference.

"It's good to be back to in-person meetings, but we still have to proceed with an abundance of caution," Board Chairman Jay Williams said.

During Thursday's meeting, board member Mike McKinnies said he'd like to see the board do more to avoid late payment penalties on some bills.

Sometimes, bills are due before the last Thursday of the month, when the board meets and approves payment. In some of those cases, a late payment penalty is applied, McKinnies said.

The board voted to send a notice to officeholders directing them to send bills to the county treasurer's office as soon as they are received.

Jeff Murray, the county treasurer, also gave his monthly report. He said because the most recent sales tax money sent to the county from the state is from March, it's too soon to see what kind of impact the state's coronavirus closure has had on the county.

"I'm optimistic that next month, we'll have a better idea," Murray said. "I know a lot of businesses were closed, but I've also talked to a lot of businesses who were considered essential and remained open who were busier than normal during this time."

The board also voted to go into two separate closed sessions to discuss labor negotiations and personnel matters.

 
 
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