Local Government

Delays push back Adams County Jail's completion until December

Construction continues on the new Adams County Jail on Friday at Sixth and Broadway. The jail will be completed in December. | H-W File Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 14, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY — The new Adams County Jail will not be completed until December, and a public tour of the facilities might not take place until sometime over the winter.

"We have security considerations there," Mark Peter, chairman of the Adams County Board's Jail Subcommittee, told the board Tuesday night. "We probably will not do anything (in the way of public tours) until after the building is occupied."

In his monthly update, Peter reported that some delays in getting the project finished have backed up the opening schedule by four to six weeks.

He said the Quincy Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff's Department are now "looking at a November ready-date," instead of October, for moving into their new offices.

A formal dedication of the new jail won't take place "until the weather is better in the spring," Peter said.

In a related matter, the board finalized its decision to issue $4 million in general obligation bonds to provide additional money needed to finance the construction of the new jail. The board also approved about $102,000 in "change order" requests for 13 unexpected expenses related to the project.

Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin announced that the county will benefit from legislation approved last week that boosts the amount of tax revenue Illinois counties can receive from sales of adult-use marijuana dispensaries.

Previous legislation set the maximum county tax at 3.75% from any dispensary located in an unincorporated area, but if the dispensary was inside the city limits of a home-rule city, such as Quincy, the county could receive only .75% while the city would receive 3%. Under the new law, Austin said, counties could charge a 3% tax from in-city marijuana businesses on top of the 3% tax charged by cities. Counties would still be able to collect 3.75 percent from businesses in unincorporated areas.

This legislative change "was kind of a gift to the counties" and will mean more revenue, Austin said.

The Illinois Legislature in June passed a law legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana starting Jan. 1, 2020, but the law allows counties to opt out of allowing dispensaries to open within their jurisdictions.

Austin said the County Board's Executive Committee unanimously favors staying in the program and collecting the appropriate tax. "It seems a shame to opt out of that and not be part of the taxation," he said.

Austin said a resolution on the marijuana tax will be brought up for a vote at the board's September meeting.

The board passed a resolution supporting a proposal to "modernize" Ill. 57 to a four-lane highway from the Mississippi River bridges in Quincy to the Interstate 172 interchange.

Les Post, chairman of the Transportation, Building and Technology Committee, told the board "there's a possibility of state funding being available to work on highway 57." So the city of Quincy and County Board were both asked to pass resolutions in support of the idea.

"This should not involve any county funds," he said.

In an interview, Post said he sees many advantages in expanding Ill. 57 four lanes. He said traffic flow would be safer, and it would be easier for big trucks -- including grain trucks from Missouri -- to reach the Quincy Soybean elevator and the South Quincy industrial area from the south.

The board also:

Agreed to increase the state's attorney's salary to $173,745 and the public defender's salary to $156,371 effective July 1.

Approved a permit allowing a fireworks display Sept. 1 at Spring Lake Country Club.

Approved the sale of five properties through tax sale resolutions.