In May, Adam Pulley of Clifton-Larson-Allen shared
the auditor’s report for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 with the Logan County
Board. The report showed an unmodified, or clean, opinion, which is
the best opinion auditors give.
The cash balance at the end of 2020 was higher than usual due to
approximately $11 million in bond proceeds. Expenditures were down
slightly, and Pulley said as 2020 ended, the total fund balance of
all county funds put together was $25 M. General fund expenditures
were $8.35 M and $1.2 M carried over into 2021.
One of Pulley’s recommendations was for the county to improve the
tracking of its many capital assets.
Logan County Board briefs: Logan County Courthouse renovations and
By the middle of the year, the county received an infusion of
American Rescue Plan Act funding. The American Rescue Plan Act was
signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021 to help combat economic
impacts of the Covid-19. Logan County was eligible for $5.5 M, which
was to be disbursed in two separate $2.75 M installments. The first
installment came through by fall and the second one is expected in
In June, the board approved a motion from Finance Committee Chairman
Steve Jenness to use Bellwether as Project Administrator for the
American Rescue Plan Act Funds.
Bellwether helps counties determine what they can spend the money on
and file quarterly reviews. The federal government requires these
reviews to prove what the money is being spent on. Bellwether
charges the county an administrative fee of $10,000 for each
installment, which comes out of the fund from the American Rescue
June 14, 2021-Logan County to receive $5.5 million federal funds to
aid pandemic recovery
June 19, 2021-June Logan County Board Briefs
Over the summer and early fall, after department heads submitted
their budgets for FY 2021-2022, the Finance Committee reviewed the
budget to see what may be needed to offset a possible deficit.
Requests for ARPA funding had also been submitted to Bellwether and
the county was approved to give one-time premium pay to non-union
After some long meetings and extensive discussions, the Finance
Committee brought the 2021-2022 budget to the full board in October.
At the October Board Workshop, the full board discussed the budget.
At that point, when looking at revenue minus expenses, the deficit
was going to be $821,679 without scaling back. When talking to the
finance committee, Jenness said the county had similar deficits in
previous years. The county anticipates a negative balance and after
the audit finds, they expense more than necessary.
To lower the deficit the county was facing, one suggestion was to
cut five percent of the budget of departments with budgets over
The plan was to put 50 percent of the 5 percent cuts made to the
departments into a contingency fund. The board could disburse money
from that fund by a two-thirds vote.
The board was also considering a hiring freeze for all departments.
Board members and county employees had questions and concerns about
the cuts and hiring freezes and how they might affect some
departments and the whole county.
One concern was that non-union employees did not get raises last
year and there was not a plan to give raises this year either.
However, Board Chairman Emily Davenport said in her eight years on
the board, last year was the first one they did not give raises.
Davenport said she understood the frustration but said the board did
not give raises last year because they were not sure how the revenue
would be especially with COVID. Jenness said there was a possibility
of giving a premium pay from the ARPA funds, which would offset the
increases non-union employees did not receive.
October 18, 2021-Logan County Board discusses next budget, deficit,
department cuts and non-union employee pay
County employees also addressed budget concerns at the board’s
October voting session.
Logan County State’s Attorney Brad Hauge asked the board to
reconsider the five percent cuts. These cuts would affect both the
Sheriff’s Department and State’s Attorney’s Office, which could also
affect public safety. He thought the cuts may be unnecessary and
felt cutting budgets over $500,000 seemed arbitrary.
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Others like Logan County Circuit Clerk Kelly Elias
did not feel they had five percent to cut from budgets that were
already bare bones.
Motions brought forward by Jenness for a vote related
to cuts, a contingency fund, anticipated permit fees and hiring
freezes. Some motions were amended after discussion.
Jenness also brought a motion off the floor to approve adding
$400,000 in anticipated permit fees to a revenue line item. This
motion included adding $400,000 to the Contingency Fund expense line
item. Showing the fees as revenue and including them in a
contingency line item allows the board to deal with unanticipated
expenses by using the contingency fund.
After adding anticipated fees, Jenness amended the five percent cuts
to zero percent cuts, which was approved.
Board member David Blankenship then made an amendment that
contingency funds only be available in the fourth quarter of the
year by two-thirds vote.
If dispensed earlier, Blankenship though it should require a
three-fourths vote. He feels these funds should not be used for
payroll expenses or bonuses but should be used only for emergencies
to protect the long-term sustainability of the county and its
employees. Though there were some questions about the amendment, it
The motion for hiring freezes was sent back to the Finance Committee
for more discussion.
After a few more amendments, the board voted to put the amended
budget on display for 30 days.
November 2, 2021-Logan County Board votes on budgetary issues, next
fiscal year draft on display
At the November Finance Committee meeting, after questions and
discussion about how the hiring freeze would work the issue was
brought back to the board.
At the November Board Workshop, Jenness said he would bring forward
hiring freezes on positions that did not exist before October 1,
2021, or any positions vacant since October 1, 2019. Any hiring
would need to be by board approval.
When positions need to be filled, Jenness said the board would
review them to see if filling them is justifiable.
There were more questions and concerns about the freezes and needing
to have board approval to fill positions.
What Jenness said he wants to determine is whether the position is
really needed or whether the department could run without it. He is
not trying to stop offices from hiring. Freezes would not affect
part time seasonal help.
In 2022, Jenness plans to compare how much Logan County pays
employees in comparison to similar sized Illinois counties. He also
plans to start meeting with department heads in January to go over
November 22, 2021-Logan County Board to vote county hiring freezes
and premium pay for non-union employees
At the November 23 voting meeting, the board approved finance
motions that included taking the budget off display, hiring freezes
and tax abatement ordinances.
Jenness also brought a motion off the floor for two percent raises
for non-union employees for 2022. These were approved after some
Other finance related motions approved included a FY 2020-21 budget
amendment, several annual tax levies and the FY 2021-22 budget.
The one-time premium pay from ARPA funds for non-union county
employees being considered was sent back to the Finance Committee
for more discussion. They will further discuss it in January.
At year’s end, the audited amount from FY 2020-21 rolling over into
the new budget is $811,068.
The budgeted fund balance for end of 2021, beginning of 2022 is
$18,552,808. The projected change in fund balance with the
difference between revenues and expenses is $8,171,122.
Logan County Treasurer Penny Thomas said the numbers are higher due
to the courthouse restoration funds that carried over from FY 2020
and ARPA funds with $5.58 million added in.
December 6, 2021- Logan County places flexible hiring freeze and
approves fiscal year budget