Year in Review - Piatt County


Scott Stevenson was hired as county maintenance supervisor. The newly-created position was formed to perform upkeep on all county buildings, including the new Piatt County Office Building (former Kirby Hospital).

Several Piatt County offices made the move to the new county office building. Those in place by the end of March were Animal Control, Services for Seniors, Faith in Action, Veterans Assistance and the Historical and Genealogical Society.

In the March 20 primary, incumbent State’s Attorney Dana Rhoades defeated fellow Republican Steve Thomas 2,307-660, setting up a November match-up against Democrat David K. Cox. 

County board members approved an inter-governmental agreement with Cook County to house inmates at the Piatt County Public Safety building. The local facility will be able to house up to 36 Cook County prisoners and bring in $50 a day per prisoner.

Rental prices at the Piatt County Office Building stayed the same after action by the county board.

Piatt County joined several other governmental entities in officially opposing the changes proposed to the Clinton Landfill that would allow it to store polychorinated biphenyls (PCB’s).

The Bement Village Board opted not to abolish its police department – yet. The village contracted with the Piatt County Sheriff’s Department to provide police protection, but had questions about whether the village was providing a squad car for that purpose. 

The Piatt County Board approved $101,000 to fund the University of Illinois Extension for Piatt County. It was the same budget as the previous year.

The Piatt County Annex building  did not meet a minimum $90,000 and failed to sell at an auction on June 15. 

The building is vacant after county offices moved to the old Kirby Hospital building on State Street. Later in the month, the county board finance committee recommended a Phase I environmental site assessment be conducted at the annex to allay fears there could be cleanup problems for a new owner.

The Piatt County Board asked the zoning board of appeals to consider lowering the rural lot minimum from its current 20 acres. But former zoning committee board member Jim Reed said the size protects farmland, and that smaller lots are allowed with additional approval.

Pros and cons of crop dusting were discussed by the Piatt County Board. Sandra Smith of Cisco claimed aerial applicators were flying too close to her home. 

Board member Randy Keith said he had received similar complaints elsewhere in the county. Board President John Lyons defended the practice of crop dusting, but said they should not be “harassing” people. 

Piatt County Zoning Officer Trish Gale told the zoning board of appeals that rural lot size minimums vary by county, from two to as much as 40 acres.

A $200,000-$240,000 fiber optic cable project could pay bid dividends for the county. At least one company has expressed interest in housing computer drives in the Piatt County Office Building once the speedy data lines arrive in town, possibly in late 2013. the firm would then sell cloud-based storage. 

One county board member said it could net the county $100,000 a year in revenue if the firm follows through with that plan.

Kathleen Piatt is the only new member to be elected to the county board in the Nov. 6 election.

Local attorney Steve Thomas complained to the Piatt County Board concerning the closing of an online law library service that has been offered by the county for several years.

John Lyons was reelected chairman of the Piatt County Board. Thomas Dobson was reelected vice-chairman.

Tenants are adjusting to live in the Piatt County Office Building. County offices moved from the former county annex structure near downtown to the former Kirby Hospital location, which gave the county about 3,000 more square feet and a building that is about 60 years newer.

County board members opted to stay with 9 a.m. meetings. Board member Kathleen Piatt suggested moving some of the sessions to evening in order to make meetings more accessible for those who work during the day.


The Piatt County Journal-Republican embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Event Calendar

Today's Events  |  FAQ
Log in to add an event