After Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan called for county board members to end their participation in the state’s Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, the board unanimously passed a resolution at its Sept. 21 meeting terminating their participation in the retirement fund.
The vote came only after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a new measure that ends future county board members’ ability to participate in IMRF. If the current board members had opted to continue participating in the retirement fund, they would have been made to document their work hours and meet a minimum requirement of hours to quality for the public pension.
“My recommendation to end board members’ participation in IMRF is not an action against the members of the Madison County Board, it is a move which will benefit county taxpayers and put Madison County in compliance with the legislation (Senate Bill 2701) recently passed by the Illinois Legislature,” Dunstan said in a release in late August.
In other County Board business:
• The board recognized longtime county employee John Herzog with a moment of silence at its September meeting. Herzog, who dealt with a number of health issues in both his adolescent and adult life, passed away Sept. 8. He was 57.
Dunstan said Herzog had undergone a kidney transplant earlier this year and was believed to be improving. He said the news of Herzog’s passing was “shocking to everyone.
“John and I go way back,” Dunstan said, praising Herzog’s work with economic development in the county. “He was loyal. He loved this county.”
• The board approved a low-interest, $150,000 infrastructure loan to the village of East Alton for purchase of a new rescue pumper truck.
The village sought the loan from the county to help pay for the roughly $500,000 truck, which will replace the existing 1997 Pierce Saber pumper truck that has been in the village’s possession for almost two decades. The rescue pumper will allow the village to consolidate its emergency response from two vehicles — presently, both the pumper truck and a rescue truck are dispatched to medical emergencies — down to one.
Village officials applied for a $100,000 grant from the county’s Community Development Block Grant program, but the project was not one of those chosen to receive a grant this cycle. A zero-interest loan through the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal will also help the village pay for the purchase, which East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood said he hopes the county can pay off over the expected 20-year life of the new truck.