Aldermen approve paying city’s share of housing study

City of Quincy

QUINCY — Weeks after agreeing to participate in a housing study with Adams County and the Great River Economic Development Foundation (GREDF), the Quincy City Council got around to paying the bill at Monday night’s meeting.

A $3,500 invoice for the housing study was part of the regular weekly bill paying resolution that came out of the Finance Committee. This was the second week the bill was included for payment and Alderman Jeff Bergman, R-2, again moved to remove that from the rest of the bills.

Last week, aldermen rejected paying the bill by an 8-5 vote. This week, they agreed to pay the bill by an 8-5 vote.

After aldermen balked at paying $25,000 for a study in October, GREDF received a state grant to pay for $54,000 of the $69,000 study. Aldermen then agreed to pay $7,500 toward the study as the Adams County Board voted to do as well. Bergman was critical about the process after learning the city, Adams County and GREDF had agreed to split the cost.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, Greg Fletcher, R-1, Dave Bauer, D-2, Kelly Mays, R-3, Tony Sassen, R-4, Mike Rein, R-5, Patty Maples, D-6, Mike Farha, R-4, and Bergman voted against paying the bill. At Monday night’s meeting, Sassen, Farha and Maples flipped and the bill will be paid.

“Clearly, it was a mistake…but at some point, you just have to pay the bill,” Farha said.

Mayor Mike Troup said the administration followed the wishes of the City Council during this entire process.

“When we first brought the entire housing study to this council, it was clear you didn’t want us to pay for the entire housing study,” Troup said. ” You said go look for other partners to cover this. We did. Okay?And you can listen to the recording of that meeting and…you can hear the verification of what I just reported. Then, we worked with other groups who were willing to do the housing study that understand that and we committed that we would pay a piece of it. We are doing that within the dollars that the departments have and that the administration has the power to make a recommendation and to pay it. We discussed that…we aren’t trying to do anything behind anybody’s back. And so what we have now is the approval of this payment, which is through the normal process.

“Previously, you had Finance (Committee) take a look…should we change what level of authority we have to come to the Council for approval. They reviewed it and kept it the way it is way it is. So now it’s a roll call vote to approve an expenditure that was properly determined and committed to you by the City for work that the City wants completed.” And so we’re doing a yes or no vote. Roll call, please.”

In other action, aldermen approved an agreement with the Oakley-Lindsay Center (OLC) regarding the collection and distribution of hotel/motel taxes.

The agreement, which runs through 2023, calls for City to receive a 3 percent administration fee for collecting the tax from the hotels and motels that pay into it. That is a 1 percent increase from the previous contract.

The OLC’s governing board, the Quincy Civic Center Authority, will receive up to $750,000 annually in hotel/motel tax revenue. That revenue stream funds OLC operations. The city also will put $216,000 a year into a capital reserve fund.

The Quincy Convention and Visitors Bureau also receives 16 percent of the Hotel/Motel tax revenues to fund local tourism efforts.

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