QUINCY — With $6 million in federal money from the American Rescue Plan Act in the bank and another $6 million coming next year, Adams County is preparing to vet eligible projects for funding.
But to ensure that county projects are legal and reimbursable under ARPA guidelines, the county is looking to hire Bellwether LLC as a consult to vet each project.
The contract with Bellwether would be for two years and cost $10,000 each year. Although Bellwether would evaluate each project, Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin said they would not absolve the county of any liability.
During Monday’s executive committee meeting, Austin broke down a series of projects within the county that could be ARPA-eligible.
Austin said one eligible project down the road could be an infill housing initiative, which could align with the city’s plans to address blighted property. Using the money to fight blighted and depressed property values is mention in the ARPA funding guidelines, he added.
“That was also part of the city of Quincy’s Strategic Master Plan,” Austin said. “That was one of the top five initiatives that consultants felt like was needed in this area.”
The initial plan is to submit four projects to Bellwether: two network upgrades, replacement of the Adams County Health Department’s HVAC system and an elevator modernization project at the Adams County Courthouse.
However, Adams County Chairman Kent Snider said he is not confident the elevator project will be approved because it already has gone out for bid.
In total, the county has about $1 million in overdue IT infrastructure upgrades they plan to fund through ARPA. This would include the addition of virtual servers to provide sufficient digital storage space and the addition of a backup site outside the county in the event of any natural disaster.
Snider said the contract with Bellwether and vetting of the four initial projects will be presented for county board approval on Tuesday.