Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

July 16, 2013

Effingham County Board makes appointment despite concern

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

---- — People who seek to adopt dogs from the Effingham County Animal Shelter are going to be paying a slightly higher fee.

But the new adoption fee of $90 for dogs and $65 for cats won't be as high as originally proposed after some discussion at Monday's Effingham County Board meeting. The board voted unanimously to add $15 to the adoption fee so that microchips can be implanted in the animals.

Animal Control Supervisor Brent Budde had originally proposed a $25 fee for the microchipping, but board member Joe Thoele thought that fee was too much.

Budde said he can buy the microchips for $8.96 apiece. The chips are implanted in animals so that they can be identified if lost.

Board member Rob Arnold said he wanted to make sure the shelter wasn't competing with local veterinarians who also implant microchips at a cost of anywhere between $20 to $30 per pet.

"I don't like the idea of competing with businesses that provide a service," Arnold said.

Budde said the service would only be provided for shelter animals. Members of the public seeking to have a chip in their pet would still have to see a veterinarian.

Also Monday, the board agreed to appoint Blair Jenson to the county Health Board in a departure from previous appointments. Health Department Administrator Kim Esker has said the Health Board has traditionally submitted its own nominees for the board who are then rubber-stamped by the county board.

But county board Chairman Jim Niemann stated in a letter read Monday in his absence, the board will no longer rely on the Health Board as the sole source of appointments to that board.

"While input into such appointments may be valuable at times, it is not appropriate for the county board chairman or county board to rely on that solely as the source of Board of Health nominations," Niemann wrote. "It is also not appropriate for the Health Department director to solicit and expect appointments to be made to the Board of Health.

"This has the effect of the director being able to choose his or her own boss," he wrote, adding the Health Board has hiring and firing authority over the Health Department administrator.

After acting Chairman David Campbell read the letter, the board voted to appoint Blair Jenson to the Health Board.

Niemann could not attend Monday's meeting because he was "unavoidably" out of town on another matter.

In other action Monday, the board:

• Honored retired Emergency Management Agency director Russ Thomas on his recent retirement.

• Agreed to give the Good Neighbors of Lake Sara $1,000 to defray costs from the recent fireworks display at the lake.

• Appointed Bill Arnold and Dave Bloemer to the county safety committee.

• Approved a four-lot plat for the proposed Gemstone Subdivision at the intersection of Moccasin Road and Cardinal Lane near Lake Sara.

• Issued a proclamation honoring the Teutopolis High School baseball team for its recent success at the state tournament.

The board also agreed on a resolution giving various county funds $110,000 from the personal property replacement tax, an annual housekeeping matter.

The board also passed a resolution approving an operations grant for Effingham County Public Transit that would enable the agency to receive $192,418 during the fiscal year that began July 1.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.