County board OKs $50K ARPA request for pilot program

Adams County Board Chairman Kent Snider (right) presents an award to former county board member Rebecca Weed for her years of service. County staff held a reception for weed prior to the Sept. 14 county board meeting.

QUINCY — The Adams County Board agreed to a $50,000 expenditure of American Rescue Plan Act funds for a six-month pilot program designed to provide employment opportunities for residents on probation.

The Adams County Empowered, or ACE program would connect unemployed or underemployed individuals on probation with meaningful employment and opportunities to pick up additional skills.

Finance committee chairman Bret Austin said the state’s attorney’s office and probation department had a similar program with some success but didn’t have a consistent funding mechanism and had a longer training process.

“This program through partnership with the county, probation department, county state’s attorney, the GREDF organization and also the Bella Ease organization seeks to kind of strip down the hurdles for finding employment for people that are in the probation process,” Austin said.

Austin added that the county will receive progress reports after three and six months and depending on the program’s success, stakeholders will work to find a way to continue the program year over year.

About 100 of the roughly 700 Adams County residents on probation would be eligible for the program, according to county staff. The goal is to assist around 25 individuals through the pilot program.

The board also approved the appointment of Megan Howell to fill the board seat vacated by Rebecca Weed.

Snider said that Weed requested that Howell, who is her niece, fill her seat for the next 14 months until the next election.

The county board also awarded a $1.2 million contract to Diamond Construction Company for the surfacing of North 48th Street from Maine Street north to Columbus Road.

Snider said that project will start right away.

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