Quincy News

Adams County Board rejects bill for extra demolition on new jail project

The site of the new Adams County Jail is shown in September, after it was cleared, with the Adams County Courthouse in the background right. | H-W File Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 13, 2018 9:45 pm Updated: Mar. 13, 2018 9:46 pm

QUINCY -- The Adams County Board voted Tuesday night to reject a $117,000 bill it received from Blick's Construction Co. for the new jail project.

The bill is for additional costs incurred during demolition in preparation for the new building on the east side of the Adams County Courthouse. The County Board objected to the bill because it should have been filed as a change order, said Jail Exploratory Committee Chairman Mark Peter, R-5. The County Board voted last month to table the bill.

"We went the extra 30 days hoping we could get some kind of a resolution," Peter said. "We didn't get anything accomplished, so we felt like it was time to take some kind of action."

Peter said the resolution does not necessarily mean the end of discussions with Blick's Construction, but he recognized that the measure could potentially open the county to a lawsuit.

The County Board also discussed an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Quincy to establish a joint city of Quincy and Adams County Emergency Telephone System board. The Quincy City Council already has approved an ordinance and a resolution allowing the mayor to enter into the agreement.

Establishing the joint ETSB will allow the Quincy-Adams County 911 System to share revenues that accounted for about $600,000 last year when an 87-cent monthly surcharge was collected on landline phones and cellphones in the state. Those revenues are expected to exceed $900,000 this year after the surcharge was raised to $1.50 a month.

Under changes made to the Illinois Emergency Telephone Systems Act, the joint ETSB must be established by July 1. The changes alter the makeup of the board, which now has 11 members. That will be trimmed to nine members under the new plan. Legislative and Judicial Committee Chairman Ryan Niekamp, R-2, said the county wants to see more equal representation on the new board.

"We would like to see at least three (County Board) members on that board, while keeping in mind the 60-40 funding split," Niekamp said.

The county is working with the office of state Sen. Jil Tracy to change the language of the legislation. The updated legislation is expected to be filed this week.

"I'm optimistic about it," Niekamp said. "I think the language that is being proposed is fair, and it addresses our concern. Hopefully it resonates across the state, too."

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