According to the records, the bill remained steady at around $27 until last August, when it exceeded $200 for the first time under museum stewardship. From there, utility bills have been steadily increasing until topping $2,000 in both January and February.
Records indicate that total county spending on the museum, counting utilities, pest control services and Effingham city water, totaled $8,655.21 from Feb. 1, 2012, to Feb. 28, 2013. But at a rate of more than $2,000 per month, the total for the next 13-month reporting period would exceed $26,000.
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.