Santa at the nursing home

Santa visits the Piatt County Nursing Home on Jan. 9, 2019.

A flu outbreak may have delayed Santa’s visit to the Piatt County Nursing Home by a two weeks, but director Scott Porter said the facility has gotten through the worst of the holiday-time illness.

“That’s over now. We continue to work on infection control,” Porter told the Piatt County board on Jan. 8.

“I want to commend the staff. They did an excellent job to try and isolate it once we became aware of it,” he added.

Four cases were diagnosed in late December at the nursing home. Anything more than two constitutes an outbreak, triggering procedures and suggested visitor restrictions.

It also kept Santa away from his annual Christmas Eve visit, where he brings presents and visits with patients. That was rescheduled and completed on Jan. 9.

Mental health center grant

Piatt County Mental Health Center Director Tony Kirkman told the board a $600 grant from the Rotary Foundation will fund virtual reality equipment to be used by clients.

“It will help with individuals who are struggling with anxiety. It’s going to be able to create almost a virtual environment for them to practice relaxation skills and to work through some of their issues. So we are very thankful for that,” said Kirkman.

On another subject, Kirkman said the shared school therapist recorded 293 sessions in 65 days of work at county schools.

Annual reports

County department heads highlighted financial gains in annual reports presented to the board.

That included County Clerk Jennifer Harper, who said a new fee schedule approved in December of 2018 helped the bottom line for the county in 2019.

“We did give the county general fund over $172,000 last year, which was an increase over the previous year by $20,000,” she said.

Circuit Clerk Seth Floyd outlined a similar year for his department, with about $13,500 more being distributed to county funds compared to the year prior.

“Overall, we saw some good increases in our yearly report. The operational cost of the office went down by almost $11,000,” said Floyd. In addition, passport processing recorded about a 20 percent increase in 2019, totaling around $3,500 in revenue.

In her report, County Treasurer Debbie Marshall said her office contributed about $47,000 in revenue to the corporate general fund, a majority of that being penalties and fees paid for past due tax payments.

In other action, the board:

–approved the appointments of Shannon Carroll and Bob Murrell to the county board emergency management agency committee;

–was encouraged by board member Randy Shumard to consider a resolution that Piatt County become a Second Amendment sanctuary county, a measure most downstate counties have taken in the last two years. The idea was first brought to the board in May of 2018; and

–approved the Title VI Policy for Piatt County Transportation, which is required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.