Area update: April 5, 2013

Attorneys at odds over health board's shake-up

GILMAN — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department's attorney claims the recent removal of three board of health members by the Iroquois County Board was illegal, but the county's state's attorney disagrees.

Attorney Ron Boyer advised the newly reorganized board of health of his opinion this week.

"There is no basis for removing these board members in the middle of their terms without establishing some type of misconduct or neglect (of duty)," Boyer said. "That was never done."

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine said later that he disagrees with Boyer's opinion.

"In executive session, the county board heard a very detailed summary of allegations of alleged neglect of duty by the board of health, and so they took that into consideration when voting the way they did when they came out of executive session," Devine said.

Devine added that state law does not require evidence of "misconduct or neglect of duty" to be made public. Nor would that be appropriate, Devine said.

The Iroquois County Board voted 13-2 in March, with three members abstaining, to remove three of Iroquois County's four appointees on the bi-county board of health. The only Iroquois County appointee not removed was the county board's chairman, Rod Copas of rural Onarga, who appointed himself to the health board in December.

SANDY COFFEY

Read more in the Paxton Record

SADORUS VILLAGE BOARD

Decisions loom for upgrade of water system

SADORUS — Sadorus village officials have some decisions to make as to which suggested projects for its water system are completed.

Kerry Gifford, general manager at Sangamon Valley Public Water District, which operates the village's water system, said the goals of his suggestions are to improve water quality and to upgrade the water plant.

To improve water quality, dirty pipes will be cleaned with Clearitas, a chemical used to disinfect water mains. Additional treatment will be done to remove organic matter with the water plant upgrade. More water main loops will be added to improve water circulation.

The 20-year plan for upgrading the water plant includes replacing existing, aging infrastructure. The plant's maximum capacity will be increased from 50 to 100 gallons per minute. New metering, chemical and flow control equipment will be installed at the plant.

The plant is switching from gaseous chlorine to a liquid bleach system. Permits for the bleach and Clearitas are scheduled to be applied for this month. Water main disinfection, which may take up to 12 months, is also scheduled to start in April.

Grove said he would start doing hydrant flushing next week. Determining the water flow capabilities at the plant will help to improve the village's ISO rating, a measure of the village's ability to protect the public from fire.

CHRISTINE WALSH

Read more in the County Star

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