Much like the Christmas Eve described in the anonymous poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” not much was stirring at the final 2017 meeting of the Livingston County Board Thursday night, with the governmental body racing through its light agenda in half an hour.
    In one action item of significance, the full board approved a motion originating with its Highway Committee to give a raise to County Engineer Clay Metcalf.
    At Thursday's meeting, Metcalf explained to the board that the Illinois Department of Transportation issues a recommendation of percentage of salary increase for the state's county engineers; however, Metcalf noted that for the last two years, IDOT recommended that the Livingston County engineer not receive an increase in salary. He let Highway Committee Chairman Jason Bunting give an overview to the board of the committee's rationale for an increase in Metcalf's pay.
    Given the lack of an increase in Metcalf's salary, Bunting said that after “a very frank discussion,” the committee motioned approval to raise the Metcalf's salary, increasing it by $1,500 — amounting to 101.33 percent of the IDOT recommended rate for Livingston County, or a 1.3 percent raise.
    When put to a vote, the board was all ayes with the exception of members Carolyn Gerwin and John Yoder.
    The board also approved two motions from the Finance Committee: the first authorizing some final year-end transfers by way of the Public Property Committee for repairs to county buildings, and the second authorizing a working cash fund transfer for insurance.
    Another item the board OK'd was a resolution for adopting an identity protection policy, a recommendation from the Election, Rules and Legislation Committee. Marty Fannin, chair of that committee, noted that the policy was required by state statute.
    Agriculture and Zoning Committee Chairman Daryl Holt noted in his committee report that additional wells were being installed at the landfill to correct “some issues.”
    In his report, Public Property Committee Chairman Mike Ingles said that county crews “took advantage of mild weather” several weeks ago when five dead or dying Ash and Hackberry trees on county property were cut away. He added that Facilities Services Director Chad Carnahan got a “very favorable deal” on new trees.
    “Those other trees have been removed and the stumps have been ground out,” he said. “We got about a two-for-one replacement with a variety trees that are a little more disease-resistant and that probably won't grow as high and be such a problem in the future. I think, come spring, we'll see a new landscape around here.”
    After John Yoder, vice chair of the Veteran's Assistance Committee, gave a report in which he said the committee had come in under budget, board member Paul Ritter expressed his overall appreciation for the body and its committees for being able to use money frugally.