Pandemic bonus possible for McHenry County Animal Control employees

‘It isn’t everyone’s job description to step up and do whatever it is we need them to do when there’s an emergency,’ public health administrator says

Animal Control Service Employees International Union members in the McHenry County Department of Health’s veterinary public health division could be up for a $3,700 bonus in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

The one-time bonus are possible because of employee turnover and unfilled positions in the health department, according to a resolution to be considered the County Board at their next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the county government building.

“It isn’t everyone’s job description to step up and do whatever it is we need them to do when there’s an emergency,” Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson said during the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Animal Control staff joined other health department employees on the front lines of the pandemic, helping with testing and other responses to COVID-19, said board member Carolyn Schofield, R-Crystal Lake.

Adamson and employees of the McHenry County Department of Health received pandemic bonuses earlier this year, in part due to funds from the American Rescue Plan.

The resolution’s passage will likely not be unanimous.

“Providing a bonus based on the pandemic response when we know that there were plenty of other departments that also did the same and extra work, doesn’t, in my opinion, I don’t believe that it falls in line with providing bonuses for Animal Control staff,” said member Tanya Jindrich, D-Crystal Lake.

App for sheriff’s office

Officials from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office are hoping to receive approval to create an app for the office.

They are seeking approval of a $69,945 contract with the TheSheriffApp.com, an app development company for police departments that has created apps for other local sheriff’s offices, including in Lake County.

The app would send emergency alerts to users, allow them to check the status of inmates, find information on registered sex offenders, and submit tips to the department among other features.

Implementation of flood mitigation project

An agreement between the county and the McHenry County Conservation District that would allow Illinois Department of Natural Resource flood mitigation plans to be implemented along the Fox River and Nippersink Creek will be up for a vote.

The County Board approved a resolution in 2020 to accept a $1.4 million grant from IDNR to buy property in Burton and Nunda townships for flood mitigation, according to county documents. The grant includes demolishing structures and restoring the areas to help prevent flooding.

No board members pulled the project’s approval from the consent agenda and asked for further debate on the issue Thursday. It is likely to pass without opposition.

Ben Szalinski

Ben Szalinski

Ben reports on local news in Harvard, Marengo, Huntley and Lake in the Hills along with the McHenry County Board. He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program in 2021. Ben is originally from Mundelein and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.