September Special Election costs limit Scott County Courthouse repairs

By Ryne Turke on October 10, 2015 at 8:43am

The special election held last month to replace former 18th Congressional District Representative Aaron Schock means one local county can’t renovate its courthouse.

According to Scott County Commissioner Craig Lashmett, the special election held to replace Schock, who resigned in March after allegations of misuse of campaign money, cost $50-thousand.

Lashmett says that money, which wasn’t even available in the budget, was scheduled to go towards annual repairs of the Scott County Courthouse. Lashmett says the courthouse could have used some painting, new windows and general upkeep, but the special election threw a wrench in those plans.

“It is very frustrating when you are trying to operate on a very low budget and you don’t have a lot of tax money coming in. It is just very hard to make ends meet and do any kind of renovation or upkeep.”

On top of the costs of the special election, the state of Illinois is still engaged in a budget crisis. Lashmett says Scott County is one of many small counties feeling the impact.

“They are suppose to also paid a large percentage of our state’s attorney’s salary and our public defender’s salary. The motor fuel tax money has been held up and hasn’t been paid for several months. There are a lot of expenditures and not a lot of money coming in. It is not a very good situation.”

Illinois recently entered its fourth month of the new fiscal year without an operating budget.