Quincy News

Adams County Board might take out $800K loan for ambulance building project

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 12, 2017 9:40 pm Updated: Apr. 12, 2017 10:01 pm

QUINCY -- The Adams County Board decided Wednesday night to seek a request for proposal to obtain a loan to help finance its new ambulance building.

At last month's board meeting, County Board member Duane Venvertloh, R-7, told the board that because the revolving loan fund would no longer be an option, the county was almost $800,000 short of the project's $1.448 million cost.

Finance Committee member Matt Obert, D-5, said he thinks the county could borrow up to $800,000 at a fixed rate with a required balloon payment in two years. After that, the loan could be renegotiated.

Obert estimated that if the county borrows $750,000 at 3 percent annual interest, it will pay between $87,000 and $88,000 a year out of the county's general fund.

"If we can avoid (an ambulance tax levy) increase, we want to," Obert said, "but that is always a fall-back plan."

The county allotted $459,000 of the $659,000 it received from Ameren Illinois to the ambulance building project. Ameren paid the county that amount to extend the Illinois Rivers Transmission Project lines through several Adams County townships. The remaining $200,000 from Ameren will be given to the townships for reimbursement.

A $125,000 donation from Blessing Hospital also has been put toward the project. The Ambulance Service has stationed its Quincy crews and ambulances at Blessing at 14th but has sought a new home since the hospital asked it to vacate those quarters.

Obert told the board the ambulance building project is still on target in terms of cost.

"The rain has caused a slight delay with our tight schedule," he said, "but we are looking at still being able to move in by June 1. The steel is up, and metal has been placed on the east end of the building."

Lavadiere Construction of Macomb is building the structure on Chestnut between 28th and 30th streets.

Also Wednesday, county board member Mark Peter, R-5, updated the board on the progress of the new Adams County Jail.

"Demolition is nearly complete," Peter said. "That part of the project has gone extremely well and should be done next week."

Southern Illinois University is conducting ground-sensing profiling -- a method that uses radar pulses to map the subsurface -- on the southeast corner of the Adams County Courthouse property, where several graves might be. Karen Atwell, owner of Farm Land Archaeological Services in Geneseo, was hired to investigate whether the graves are there. She cannot begin her work until SIU is finished.

"SIU jumped us up," Peter said. "Otherwise we could have eaten up another month and a half doing this. It's a situation where we're on the clock here. To be able to move this project forward in an orderly fashion, we have to get this issue of possible graves settled."

Peter expects SIU to finish its work by the end of the week. The excavation timeline depends on SIU and its findings.

Peter also said design firm HOK will have its 70 percent cost estimate for the county within two weeks. He hopes the project will go out for bid May 22, with those bids returned by June 23.

"That will give us the opportunity to get a full summer construction season in," Peter said.

County Board member Richard Reis, D-1, tendered his resignation Wednesday. Reis was elected last week as 6th Ward alderman on the Quincy City Council. The Adams County Democratic Central Committee will nominate someone to fill the seat.

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