Morgan Commissioners Hear Audit, Join 11 County Port Commission

By Benjamin Cox on March 9, 2020 at 1:48pm

The Morgan County Commissioners heard a clean audit this morning from Zumbahlen, Eyth, Surratt, Flynn, and Foote this morning for fiscal year 2019. Adam Withee, principal of the accounting firm, said that the county had an influx of new dollars last year from the Morgan County Health Department due to their certification as a Federally Qualified Health Center, which allowed them to be reimbursed for more of their services than in years passed. He said they saw an increase of $291,000 from the previous year. He said that a new third-party billing service has also given clients awareness about what is and is not reimbursed by private and public health insurance making for quicker and better reimbursement to the health department.

Withee also said he noticed an uptick in the amount of money from the Morgan County tax levy going to municipalities in the county. “We kind of try to look at where tax extensions change substantially [each year.] I know the majority of the tax extensions go to the local school district, so you would assume that’s where the biggest possible jump would be. Between FY17 and FY18, the largest jump of about 16% was from cities and villages. Again, I can’t speak specifically right now to why that would be but it could be specific tax levees, bond issues, things that were not present in the prior years, water & sewer projects, or things like that [causing that increase.]”

Withee said that the county’s revenue was above where it had been the previous year by $142,000 and spending was under budget by 95%. Withee said that the annual value on property increased by only 1.2%, which is down from a 3.5% increase the previous year. He said that farm and residential property were the places where property values went up.

In other business, the commissioners passed a resolution to become part of the Mid-America Port Commission and passed the election of 4 board members to represent the 11-county wide region. Blake Roderick of the Pike-Scott Farm Bureau is the lone representative from the local area.

Treasurer Jenny Geirnaeirt noted the creation of two new funds mandated by the State of Illinois in the Treasurer’s report. She said the funds are to be collected from the county court systems’ fees for child advocacy and a fund to pay for public defenders. She said the county sends the child advocacy funding to an agency in McLean County for administration by the state. The $2 fee generated in the court’s cases for public defenders had only generated $6 total since its implementation by the state in January.

The board will meet next Monday, March 16th on the first floor of the Morgan County Courthouse.