River Valley Metro Mass Transit District is gaining five buses, thanks to a partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority. An intergovernmental agreement will transfer five buses from the CTA to River Valley Metro.
River Valley Metro states these five 2006 buses will be used to replace older ones in the current River Valley Metro fleet.
Ken Munjoy, Executive Director of Marketing for RVM said the agency is also considering expanding some services. River Valley Metro currently has 12 routes with over 350 bus stops in Kankakee County. The agency also provides service to Momence, Midway International Airport and the Metra Station at University Park.
Monday: Enrollment deadline for Get Covered Illinois
State health officials are encouraging Illinoisans to shop around the state's new health insurance marketplace. Get Covered Illinois will have counselors on hand at some Health Departments Monday, the final day to enroll or re-enroll to have insurance by Jan 1. Even if you enrolled last year, you might be able to find a better deal.
The number of insurance plans has more than doubled from last year to more than 400.
Get Covered Illinois will have in-person assistance available on Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The open enrollment period for 2015 will run through Feb. 15.
More information is available at www.GetCoveredIllinois.gov or by calling (866) 311-1119.
Iroquois County emergency dispatch service agreement stalls
Legal minds not good enough for County Board
The Iroquois County Board Tuesday sent an earlier-agreed-on contract for dispatch services back to committee for further review. A two-year contract agreed on just last Thursday by the Finance committee apparently wasn't good enough to satisfy a group of board members who've delayed progress on the matter for several months.
Finance committee Chairman Keven Hansen, despite being part of a meeting last Thursday when the agreement was reached, said Tuesday more time is needed to look at the contract before signing off.
Several board members questioned whether Hansen consulted with former Board Chairman Rod Copas in a telephone call outside the Tuesday meeting room. The same past-Copas supporters all voted with Hansen to send the contract proposal back to committee.
Hansen couldn't explain what his concerns were about the contract, despite being asked repeatedly to talk about what his issues were...even though his committee OK'd the contract three business days earlier.
Three attornies, including Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine, were OK with the pact last Thursday. The ETSB lawyer, John Kelly, and the County Board's union lawyer David Hibben were OK with the pact last week too.
Devine said some modifications made to the contract actually gives the county the authority to handle union negotiations, since the dispatchers are moving toward union support thru the FOP. The county also gets to oversee finances of the dispatch center.
A bailout plan for the Kankakee County Board was approved Tuesday after two local banks stepped up to assist the county's crippled budget. The Board approved borrowing $5-million to meet payroll demands into the new year.
People Bank and HomeStar Bank & Financial Services are putting up $3 and $2 million dollars, respectively, to help cover costs until the next tax cycle kicks in.
Substantial cuts to the county budget started Monday when county sheriff's police laid off 17 deputies and 20 jail guards. The layoffs resulted from a $3 million budget cut. Board Chairman Mike Bossert "We are fortunate our local banks stepped forward in order to assist us." The loans provide up-front cash in return for short-term repayments when the county collects property tax revenues. Bossert said it works much like a consumer payday loan.
An attempt to seek bids from financial leaders went know where. No one submitted a bid, likely because Moody's Investors Service downgraded the county's bond rating due to the negative financial situation. Bossert said the rating will improve if the county board follows a new board policy to build up its cash reserves.