County Board approves ordinance to assist jail cost

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 12, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jun. 12, 2019 9:56 am

QUINCY -- As expected, Adams County Board members unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday night that will provide for the sale of $4 million of general obligation bonds.

The money is targeted to assist the construction of the new Adams County Jail that is expected to be completed in November.

The $32 million jail will house the Quincy Police Department and will hold an estimated 190 inmates. The current jail can house about 120 inmates.

Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin said an estimated $2.5 million to $3 million is expected to be needed to cover remaining costs of the jail project. The $4 million figure was sought to provide a cushion, with any remaining funds being returned.

Initially, Austin said the county felt the 75,000-square-foot, L-shaped jail building would be paid off in 18 to 18 1/2 years.

"But now it (looks like) it may take 20 to 21 years," Austin said.

The board agreed to sell $25 million in bonds in 2017 to fund most of the new jail's cost. The city of Quincy also is contributing $4.2 million toward the project.

The bond will be paid through the quarter-cent sales tax approved by Adams County voters in 2015. The tax will expire after enough is collected to pay off the bonds.

The board also heard a brief report from John Simon, director of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency, concerning the recent flooding.

Simon said none of the West-Central Illinois levees that protect 50,000 local acres was breached, despite two of the four-highest Mississippi River crests ever recorded.

The river in Quincy crested at 31.16 feet on June 1, just below the record crest of 32.13 feet on July 13, 1993.

Simon praised local sandbaggers, who used the Oakley-Lindsay Center parking lot as a flood-preparation hub.

"We filled about 300,000 sandbags with the help of (more than) 3,000 volunteers," Simon said.

About 4,000 tons of sand was used.

Simon said a full financial report, including damage, should be completed at some point in "early to mid-July."