Local Government

County Board agrees to participate in program through CARES Act

Adams County Board member Barbara Fletcher signs paperwork after being sworn in Tuesday night. Fletcher filled the vacancy after Ryan Niekamp, right, resigned in March when he was named Adams County clerk and recorder.
H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 12, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — The Adams County Board approved the county's participation in a program that will allow it to access CARES Act funds.

The Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Support introduced to the board Tuesday allows the county to receive reimbursement for COVID-19-related costs. Funds are set on a per capita base, meaning the county is eligible for $818,089.

"What we're doing is looking to see what changed in the county since mid-March to now?" said Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin. "What did we have to do differently that incurred expenses?"

This could include technology purchases so some employees could work from home and plastic screen installation at the Adams County Courthouse.

Austin said it is one of two funds the county can access.

The other CARES Act funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health to the Adams County Health Department will net an estimated $2.4 million, which the county has received about $700,000.

"There is some really good programming that the health department can use that for," Austin said. "Some of it will be for contact tracing and some things like that, which everyone has seen some of that activity already, testing, (personal protective equipment) and things like that."

In other business, the County Board agreed to nullify a contract with Emery Sapp and Sons Inc. of Columbia, Mo., to resurface just over a mile of North 30th Street and Weiss Lane between North 24th and Koch's Lane. A $392,612 contract with Diamond Construction was approved for the work.

Transportation, Building and Technology Committee Chairman Les Post said Emery Sapp asked that the county nullify the contract after the Employment of Illinois Workers on Public Works Act took effect because of the hike in unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The law requires that the workforce for all public works projects in the state be comprised of 90% Illinois residents when the unemployment rate climbs above 5% for two consecutive months.

The board also approved the appointment of Barbara Fletcher to the vacant District 2 seat. The seat was previously held by County Clerk and Recorder Ryan Niekamp, who resigned in March after he was appointed to the office.

At the time of Niekamp's resignation, County Board Chairman Kent Snider said he didn't plan to fill the vacancy with the November election approaching, but was asked to consider appointing Fletcher after she was slated by the Adams County Republican Central Committee to run for it.

Fletcher, executive director of the Quincy Museum, said she was excited to be appointed and has been trying to catch up with county business by reviewing meeting minutes.

"I've been a resident of Quincy for the last 16 years, and I'm finally able to give back to the community that has been so welcoming to me," she said.