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County Board passes resolution opposing Mercyhealth loss of medical services

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2022

County Board passes resolution opposing Mercyhealth loss of medical services

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. – After unanimous approval, the Winnebago County Board is encouraging Javon Bea Hospital and Mercyhealth to reconsider its decision to stop providing inpatient services at its Rockton Avenue campus, especially standard emergency care.

The Public Safety & Judiciary Committee put forth a resolution urging the hospital to continue providing these services, as board members feel it is in the best interest of west side residents and the entire population of Winnebago County. This resolution will be submitted to the Illinois Health Facilities & Review Board for consideration before a final decision is made on March 15.

“We are all concerned about the loss of trauma care and in-patient services this discontinuation would bring,” said Board Member and Committee Chair Burt Gerl. “We feel it is crucial that these services remain within our community and be accessible to residents who may need that care the most.”

County Board members also passed through a resolution addressing the salaries of several elected officials in Winnebago County. Staff recently conducted a salary review of similar counties in Illinois and recommend a salary increase for the offices of Sheriff, Treasurer and County Clerk. This resolution received full support from the Finance Committee with the exception of Board Member Steve Schultz, who abstained from the vote because he is running for county treasurer.

“This makes up for four years of not adjusting the salaries,” said Chief Financial Officer Dave Rickert. “This will impact the county’s 2023 budget for a total of $26,215. Once we’ve done that, going forward we would only do a cost-of-living adjustment.”

A look at the salary comparison chart and anticipated salary increases can be found on page 50 of the agenda packet:

The resolution sponsored by the Operations & Administrative Committee to ask an advisory question to voters on the June 28, 2022 ballot regarding a tax increase to support the county-owned River Bluff Nursing Home was sent back to committee by board members for further discussion.

For clarification, this referendum is advisory, meaning if passed by the board to appear on the ballot and later approved by Winnebago County voters, it does not mean the tax levy will immediately increase. The board will still have to decide whether to put it in action.

The next County Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 24 at 6 p.m. 

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