Adams County Board approves establishing Veterans Assistance Commission


Paul Havermale makes a presentation to the Adams County Board Tuesday night regarding the establishment of a Veterans Assistance Commission. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — A group of Adams County veterans has been pushing for the establishment of Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) in the county for more than a year.

State law requires that if a group of veterans makes the request of an Illinois county to establish a commission and follows all of the proper steps, the county must establish and fund it.

But the commission also gets its own tax levy, according to state statute.

On Tuesday night, the Adams County Board voted unanimously to establish a Veterans Assistance Commission. The Board also approved its $353,000 funding request that will be part of the County’s 2024 budget.

It will take a tax levy of 0.0026 of Adams County’s equalized assessed valuation to fund the VAC’s budget request. Finance Committee Chair Bret Austin (R-District 1) said establishing the levy and its amount will be determined at the December County Board meeting.

Paul Havermale, an Army veteran and finance officer for American Legion Post 37, served as the spokesman for the veterans, who are made up of members of the Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marine Corps League. He said the VAC’s mission is to be an advocate for veterans who are frustrated having to deal with many layers of government when it comes to assistance and benefits.

Havermale told the County Board the organization will have a positive impact to the county in terms of providing veterans with the assistance they need to be productive residents of Adams County, which currently serves as home to more than 5,000 veterans.

And while groups such as the Illinois Veterans Home and the Veterans Affairs Clinic should already provide many of these resources, Havermale said the county currently has a backlog of 268 veterans who are not receiving the amount of benefits they should be.

Dave Bellis (R-District 3) expressed his frustration at the County Board and taxpayers have to pick up the slack.

“I’m 100% behind you,” he said. “But it pisses me off that we can’t fix it at the federal level and it has to come to this.”

In other action, the Board accepted the resignation of the county’s director of human resources, Cisco Fuller.

Fuller is the third person to hold the position since the County Board established it in 2020 and its role has shifted since, beginning as a director of administrative services before becoming a human resources job.

Adams County Board Chairman Kent Snider (R-District 4) said the County Board was going to take some time to decide what direction they want to go with the position.

In other action, the County Board:

Voted to make a final payment of $338,570 to finish paying for construction of the Adams County Jail.

Approved spending $4,000 to seal the sally port to the old jail.

Received two grants for the County Clerk’s office of $37,264 and $28,342 to make county polling stations compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). County Clerk Ryan Niekamp said that work would also include improving the access to the courthouse from the Fifth Street entrance, which houses a countywide polling place.

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Muddy River TV+

Current Weather

Trending Stories