Friday, February 5, 2010

State Of The County: "Strong"

The State of McHenry County was the highlight of Thursday's County Board meeting except for those interested in nursing home governance or the arcana of bond issuance.

Board Chairman Ken Koehler pointed to plans to "significantly decrease (traffic) congestion" in the eastern part of the county, and April's upcoming unveiling of the county's 2030 Plan to manage growth as high points for last year.  Plans for this year boiled down to not losing ground.

"We all know many county residents are adversely affected by the economic downturn," Koehler said.  "We're all aware of how it's impacting all businesses and families."

That may have been why he laid out plans for continuing projects already on the table but didn't call for any new ones.

One of the projects already served up is taking back direct management of the County's Valley-Hi nursing home.  The board voted Thursday to junk board committee supervision of the facility in favor of an expert board of directors.  District 6 member Randy Donley thought it was a bad idea but District 5's Jim Kennedy said it worked in DeKalb County and there'd still be two County Board members on the new board of directors, anyway.

The Board inched closer to issuing $4 million in bonds to build a controversial expansion for the McHenry County Mental Health Board. Bond expert Eric Anderson told the Board he'd ask authorization at their next meeting to try to "time" the market to get the best rate.

Interest rates are low now, Anderson said. "We've not seen these rates in 42 years," he said.  Then again, "rates are very volatile," he said, the reason he hoped for flexibility in jumping at the best ones.

In the pic: Ken Koehler commends the County's "sound financial management".

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