Lights, camera, action: Adams County Board meetings to be livestreamed

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New cameras and microphones were installed in the Adams County Board room last year. — Photos by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — Beginning in February, Adams County Board meetings will be livestreamed.

Ryan Hinkamper (R-District 2) made the motion at Tuesday night’s Board meeting. He said that in the Transportation, Building and Technology committee meeting earlier Tuesday evening, the committee had voted to take the request to the full Board.

Hinkamper said when the new cameras and microphones were installed in the County Board room, livestreaming capabilities were included. County Board meetings were held via Zoom during the COVID Pandemic, but Hinkamper wasn’t calling for remote participation by board members as part of this initiative.

“We should be transparent and let the public know what we are doing,” Hinkamper said.

The Board, which had 16 of 21 members present on the meeting held on a snowy evening, approved the measure via voice vote.

County administrators merely need to decide what platform they want to use to make the meetings available online. The Quincy City Council utilizes Facebook Live, but there are multiple options, including YouTube, for livestreaming.

Board members also heard about plans on how to follow up on utilizing the information obtained in the housing study conducted through the Great River Economic Foundation.

Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin (R-District 1) said he will propose offering zero percent loans of up to $20,000 to developers who will participate in an affordable housing program to build housing units at a mid-market level. He said this could also help take some of the pressure off the lower-income housing market.

The program, called GROW (Growing Residential Opportunities county-Wide) would be administered by a third party, with revolving loans coming through Adams County that could be forgiven if the units are occupied. The County Board will vote on the plan next month.

The money is coming from $1 million set aside from the county’s allotment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Austin provided a full breakdown of how the County has spent the money it received from the federal government.

Some of that ARPA spending was discussed Tuesday night as intergovernmental agreements with the villages of Liberty, Camp Point and Plainville and the Adams County Fairgrounds for restroom projects came in lower than expected. The costs dropped from $510,000 to $330,000 because of lower construction costs.

Transportation, Building and Technology Chairman Dave Bellis (R-District 3) said mold remediation is continuing as work on the Law Library is nearly complete. The area has new carpet and newly painted walls. The new air filtration system has been installed in the Courthouse, including 53 air diffusers throughout the building.

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