Technical assistance

Otto approved as Madison County Community Development Administrator

EDWARDSVILLE — Christopher Otto’s appointment as Madison County Community Development Director (MCCD) has been approved after being delayed for a month.

The Madison County Board voted to approve Otto, along with two other nominations, at its regular meeting on Wednesday.

Otto has been deputy administrator of the MCCD for about a year and has served as acting director since former director Dave Tanzyus was named county administrator in May 2021.

Consideration of Otto’s nomination was postponed in May until this month’s meeting.

At Wednesday’s meeting, board member Mike Babcock, R-Bethalto, offered to postpone it again, but that was beaten 14-10 with four members absent. All nominations were then approved unanimously.

Kenneth Klostermann was also appointed to the Highland-Pierron Fire District, to fill the remaining term of Terry Lammers, who resigned; and Bob Whipkey to the Moro Fire District, to fill the remaining term of Dwight D. Darden, who also resigned.

The board also approved a contract between the sheriff’s department and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to place a deputy in the local DCFS office for safety and investigations.

In previous committee discussions, it was noted that the agent would provide a measure of security for DCFS agents in the field during potentially dangerous calls, and also allow law enforcement to get involved more quickly in potential criminal investigations.

Sheriff’s Department officials said there was sometimes a “time lag” between the start of a DCFS investigation and notifying law enforcement that could be taken down.

It was previously noted that part of the program’s focus was the January 4 stabbing death of a DCFS worker in Springfield.

The total cost of the three-year program will be $138,000 per year and is fully funded by DCFS.

In other cases counsel:

• Approved a resolution allowing a technical assistance contract with the National Development Council. The NDC is a nonprofit organization that provides specialized training and technical assistance in housing development and economic development financing. The cost of the agreement would be $60,000 for 12 months.

• Approval of a contract with Chicago-based Ernst and Young LLP to provide financial services for its administration of the American Rescue Plan Act, at a cost not to exceed $500,850.

• Approved an immediate emergency appropriation of $400,000 for a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to expand the capacity of the county drug court.

• Approval of a maintenance contract with USL Financials for the Office of the Auditor at a cost of $40,915.58.

• Approved the purchase of a three-year ESRI Enterprise license agreement for the county’s IT department at a cost of $939,000.

• Consultation and approval of the publication of certain minutes of closed meetings.