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Madison County Board Discusses Zoning Dispute

By Jake Leonard

Madison County County Chairman Kurt Prenzler and County Board member Michael Holliday presented an Alton woman the Living Legends Community Service Award shortly after the county board meeting started on Wednesday, Feb. 16 in the Nelson Hagnauer County Board Room.

Maxine Jackson Caldwell is the eighth recipient of the award since it was incepted. The award is presented every February during Black History Month to a resident making extraordinary contributions to the community and/or Madison County.

Caldwell is the owner and operator of Maxine’s Daycare Inc. in Alton. She holds a daycare license and meets regulatory standards and educational requirements to provide both day and night care for infant, preschool, and school age children, including before and after school care. She opened her first daycare out of her home 32 years ago before transitioning into a larger facility in 2000. In 2013, she added evening childcare at the request of numerous parents.

During Public Comments, Kay Waldram, Scott Summers, and William Scott spoke in opposition of a proposed resolution which passed before the Building and Zoning Committee submitted to the board on February 10 with the findings of a public hearing held December 14, 2021 for consideration of a special use permit request.

The request was submitted by Ryan Lybarger and Lybarger Landscaping for utilizing agricultural zoned property in Jarvis Township near Collinsville with the intent of operating a landscaping service business.

Waldron, Summers, and Scott expressed concerns as residents of properties nearby, despite unanimous approval by the committee. The trio were among 60 people who petitioned against the special use permit and variance for the property.

Walter Gallia and Ryan Lybarger, both representatives of the business, spoke in favor of the resolution.

Gallia stated that they tried their best to come to a compromise on the matter. He stated that he and Lybarger did their best to alleviate all concerns, adding that they have every indication to abide by all ordinances regulating to the property’s usage.

He indicated that the location is on 11 acres and is nowhere close to the properties owned by Waldron, Summers, and Scott. Building and Zoning was able to mediate an agreement despite the parties being unable to negotiate aspects of the special use permit. Lybarger declined to speak, citing that Gallia had stated everything that he was going to say.

Dianna Tickner was bumped up to become the fifth speaker, also in opposition of the resolution.

“This is a residential neighborhood, regardless of how it was characterized,” Tiechner stated.

She continued to state that the other commercial businesses in the area are along the frontage road, while claiming that where Lybarger wants to develop his business is technically in a residential district (despite agricultural zoning).

The following appointments were made and approved: Christopher Johnson (County EMA Director), Bob Coles (Emergency Telephone Systems Board), Angela Martin and Harold Fry II (Fosterburg Fire Protection District), Dr. Paul Hoover and Joy Birk (Health Board Advisory Committee), and Mark Ringering (Sheriff’s Merit Commission).

All committee items were approved unless stated otherwise:

Business from Building and Zoning was split, approving four zoning resolutions and an authorization of the Green Schools program funding for Fiscal Year 2022.

The zoning resolution relating to the Lybarger special use permit was discussed further. Several aspects of the matter were further clarified with questions by members of the board.

After extensive discussion on the matter, the Lybarger resolution passed 17-8, with board members Stacey Pace and Chris Guy publicly via voice voting in opposition.

The Executive Committee presented resolutions establishing new compensation amounts for countywide officials and County Board members, effective December 1, 2022 after the November general election.

Compensation for the positions of county clerk, treasurer, and sheriff will be set at $110,115.20 for a four-year term ending November 30, 2026.

County board member compensation will be set at $14,495 per year, the same rate established by resolution for the period of December 1, 2020 until November 30, 2022.

Eleven items were presented for board approval from the Finance and Governement Relations Committee, including a claims and transfers report, property trustee report, and immediate emergency appropriations for three different funds.

Other business included resolutions including the following: settlement of a workers’ compensation claim, purchase of excess insurance for the self-insured workers’ compensation program, a contract review of general homestead exemption services for the Assessor’s office, a contract renewal with Avid for hosting and life cycle services, and approval of the state’s attorney appellate prosecutor services agreement with the State’s Attorney’s office.

The personnel committee presented two resolutions to make amendments to county personnel policies in the personnel handbook. The amendments apply to not only county personnel, but also supervisory, professional, and confidential employees working under the Madison County Board.

The Transportation Committee reported bids were received for replacement of the existing single span structure otherwise known as Langenwalter Bridge in Jarvis Township near Edwardsville.

The winning lowest bid was given to Depew & Owen Builders of Centralia in the amount of $624,888, beating out other submitted bids from Stutz Excavating, Keller Construction, and RCS Construction.

A resolution presented by Facilities and Management and Finance and Governmental Operations was presented to authorize an intergovernmental agreement between Madison County and Madison County Transit (MCT) pertaining to the transfer of a 0.6-acre property so that MCT can utilize the property for green space.

Two resolutions from Judiciary and Finance and Governmental Operations were presented.

The first was for the purchase of five 2022 Ford Explorers for the Probation Department. The purchase will be through Morrow Brothers Ford in Greenfield in the amount of $158,850, covered by probation capital outlay funds for Fiscal Year 2022.

The second was an annual professional services renewal for medical care for the Madison County Jail with Advanced Correctional Healthcare of Peoria. The renewal is for one year and will be set to expire on January 31, 2023. The contract amount is $428,631.80 and will be paid out of the jail’s medical budget.

A joint resolution from the Public Safety and Finance and Government Operations committees and the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) called for approval of reimbursement of PSAPs for 911 calls made between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Payouts will go out to Collinsville, Highland, Madison, and Troy among other communities receiving their share of a total payout of $818,246 from ETSB funds for Fiscal Year 2022.

Public Safety and Finance and Government Operations presented two resolutions for consideration, relating to purchases for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) and Animal Care and Control.

The first resolution was to approve a purchase of eight 2022 Ford Interceptors to replace current MCSD vehicles. The vehicles were available for purchase via state contract through Morrow Brothers Ford of Greenfield in the amount of $342,635, to be paid out from MCSD sheriff capital outlay funds.

The second was for the approval of veterinary date import and entry services from HLP, Inc. in the amount of $55,000 for one year. The purchase will be covered from the department’s administrative budget.

The next County Board meeting will be March 16 at 5 p.m. in the County Administration Buiilding.

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