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Tuesday  Sep 18, 2018  09:53 PM

Local News

 

Allscripts CEO: Employees Choosing not to relocate to Montgomery County

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:38:19 CST

At the Montgomery County Board meeting Tuesday morning, the board again discussed Allscripts employees and why they are choosing not to relocate to Montgomery County.

Economic Development Committee Chair Glenn Savage told the board that Allscripts CEO Jim Hewitt recently spoke to the committee regarding the future of his health care software company. Hewitt, who is from the Hillsboro area, said the company is looking for a location to have a long-term campus. He stated that there are currently offices in St. Charles, Chicago and St. Louis.

Hewitt told the committee that as the business grows and more people are hired, employees are choosing not to live in Montgomery County. He said that 40 employees from the Springfield office that closed and was relocated to Litchfield were offered a package to relocate to Montgomery County. None of them took the offer. The three reasons cited for why employees are choosing not to relocate were quality of schools, property taxes being too high, and a lack of proper housing in the employees price range.

At the full board meeting, board member Jeremy Jones asked what the rating was for schools in Montgomery County, and multiple board members replied that on average, Montgomery County Schools receive a 4 out of 10. When asked about the current property tax rate, County Clerk and Recorder Sandy Leitheiser said the difference between Edwardsville, where some employees are choosing to live, and Montgomery County is about two points.

Savage said he believes board members should take this information and discuss it with officials from each school district and municipality and talk about what can be done to make improvements to make Montgomery County more attractive.

DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE

The Board also learned that Dakota Access Pipeline will not be paying for repairs to roads that were damaged during construction of the pipeline.

County Engineer Cody Greenwood estimated that $800,000 worth of damage was done to the roads in the county. Greenwood said that a verbal agreement had been reached between the pipeline and the individual townships involved, but the county had yet to receive an offer.

Greenwood said DAP has since begun backpedaling on issuing checks for damages. Prior to pipeline installation, the county secured a $3.5 million bond against the company, which will be used to cover the cost of the repairs. He added that each township was supposed to secure their own bonds.

When asked how other counties had been affected, Greenwood said he had spoken with engineers from Scott and Morgan counties and said they were both further along in the process than Montgomery County. Each of those counties had received offers for damages, but neither had received any funding. Greenwood reiterated that Dakota Access Pipeline appeared to be backpedaling with the other counties as well.

708 BOARD

Montgomery County Board member Earlene Robinson, who serves as the liaison to the 708 Board, said groups whose applications for funding have been denied will not be allowed to re-apply the same year, beginning next Fiscal Year.

According to Robinson, there have been multiple applicants who have been denied funds but were then told to come back with a revised proposal before funding was approved. Robinson said that beginning next year, applicants will have to wait until the following fiscal year to apply again after being rejected.

Robinson also told the board that the organization Standing Against Addiction and Drugs (S.A.A.D.) was granted $28,000 after requesting it from the 708 Board. She also said that updated applications will be available online by February 1, for organizations who would like to apply for funds for the next fiscal year. Applications will be due March 31, and by July, the 708 Board will have the final applicants approved and given to the County Board for final approval.

UNION NEGOTIATION CORRECTION

Personnel Committee Chair Jay Martin told the board that the Highway Department Union Local 1084 requested a 75 cent per hour increase in their wage when negotiating their new contract. Martin said he incorrectly reported earlier that the union had initially requested a dollar. The personnel committee and the union reached an agreement on a 25 cent per hour increase.

The board also passed a policy prohibiting sexual harassment by county employees. The policy was part of a mandate from the state that all local and county governments implement by January 15.

The next Montgomery County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, at 8:30 a.m.

 

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