County Board selects Architechnics to design new courthouse HVAC system

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QUINCY — On Tuesday, the Transportation, Building and Technology Committee recommended and the Adams County Board tabbed Architechnics of Quincy to design a new heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system for the courthouse.

Architechnics $625,000 bid was higher than the $597,000 bid from RTM Engineering from St. Louis but, after input from local contractors and discussion among committee members, the local firm won.

Bret Austin, chairman of the Finance Committee said he received unsolicited phone calls from representatives of Franklin and Henry Counties and Daiken Global last month and they pitched a direct bid to go around local firms and undercut their bids. Austin (R-1st District) said he believed it was a “cold call” and was surprised with the sales pitches. Building Committee Chairman Dave Bellis (R-3rd District) described the move as “sneaky”.

Daiken installed the HVAC units throughout the Quincy Public School District that have been fraught with problems. Local businessman Adam Booth, who has experience in the HVAC field, has been a frequent critic of the Daiken system and has spoken at numerous public meetings about their issues. He addressed the Building Committee that met Tuesday before the full County Board meeting, saying Architechnics has good working relationships with local contractors and will save money in the long run by not having an out-of-town firm frequently returning to Quincy to deal with issues that come up.

The overall courthouse HVAC project is expected to have a price tag in the $7.5 million neighborhood. Austin said if the county chooses to bond the project, it will require a $10 million municipal bond with interest rates in the 3.3 to 3.4 percent range.

The County Board also approved state-mandated salary increases for the state’s attorney, public defender and sheriff. The 4.7 percent cost-of-living adjustments put those salaries at $206,715 for state’s attorney, $186,044 for public defender and $165,378 for sheriff, retroactive to July 1, which was the beginning of the State of Illinois’ fiscal year.

Jon Hoover as also introduced to the full Board as the new chief public defender, replacing Chris Pratt, who became a circuit judge last month.

In other action, the County Board:

  • Approved a special permit for Summit Ridge Energy to build a 3-megawatt commercial solar farm in Ellington Township, at 7917 Ewbanks Road near Fowler. As part of this, the Adams County State’s Attorney’s Office will bring aboard a new attorney to deal with solar, battery and wind farm issues as they arise.
  • Learned the Veterans Assistance Commission has served 118 people and secured roughly $200,000 in VA disability benefits for Adams County veterans.
  • Heard a request from Steve McQueen (R-4th District) for ARPA funding for improvements to the South Quincy Drainage District’s levee, which protects numerous industries along the Mississippi River including Prince-Agri Products, ADM and Huber. The County has roughly $400,000 in ARPA funds remaining of the $12.5 million it originially received following the Pandemic.

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