County board chairman, vice chairman elected

The Union County Board of Commissioners this week elected a chairman and vice chairman.

New commissioner Dale Russell attended his first meeting. Russell was elected in November.

Leaders were elected at a regular meeting of the county board. The meeting was Monday afternoon at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.

The three county commissioners also accepted committee assignments at the meeting.

Monday's session also featured the latest update on construction of a new county courthouse and an early look ahead to the 2012 county election.

Chairman, Vice Chairman

Randy Lambdin was reelected as county board chairman at Monday's meeting.

Don Denny was elected as vice chairman of the board.

The chairman and vice chairman each serve a one-year term.

Committee assignments for the commissioners included:

Lambdin: animal control, 911. Denny: economic development, Shawnee Development Council. Russell: Southern Five Regional Planning District, Southern Seven Health Department.

The board set meeting dates for the coming year. Meetings will continue to be held at 4 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month.

Meetings will be moved to Tuesday when a holiday falls on a Monday.

Courthouse Project

In other business at Monday's meeting, the county commissioners approved a hazardous materials assessment contract proposal from Freeman Environmental Services of Herrin.

The action is one of the steps which will be taken by the county in connection with the construction of a new courthouse.

The Herrin firm will conduct an asbestos inspection of the existing courthouse. Any asbestos which might be found will be removed and disposed of properly.

The inspection will cost $500. Removal of asbestos will cost up to a total of $10,000, if needed.

Courthouse project manager Mike Smith reported Monday that recent soil boring tests conducted on the site of the existing structure resulted in good news.

No problems were found, and the site offers good footings for a new facility.The new courthouse will be built on the grounds of the existing building.

Representatives of the project's architectural firm, HOK in St. Louis, are scheduled to be in Union County again on Wednesday, Dec. 15. They will meet with county officials to continue planning for the new courthouse.

Surplus Equipment

Council officials also discussed plans to have a surplus equipment auction.

The auction would be another step in the overall process of moving out of the old courthouse and into a new structure.

A list of items will be compiled for the auction, which could take place sometime in January.

2012 Election

While the 2012 election is still a couple of years away, county officials already are anticipating the matter.

Plans currently call for the election in 2012 to include adding two more members to the county board of commissioners. Union County voters have approved expanding the number of people serving on the board.

Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds and Union County Clerk Bobby Toler Jr. are working on details regarding the election.

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