The Cities I Rock Island County History I Hydroponic Farms I WQPT


– [Voiceover] Public affairs
programming on WQPT is brought to you by The Singh
Group at Merrill Lynch. Serving the wealth
management needs of clients in the region for over 25 years. – Awaiting decision, why
moving Rock Island County’s Recorder’s Office will be no
easy, nor inexpensive task. And a different way to farm, away from the ground, in The Cities. (upbeat music) The Rock Island County
board wants to tear down it’s more-than-a-century-old courthouse. Many of the court offices
will move into the new jail complex, but what
about the people who are in charge of keeping the public record? All those deeds, transactions,
all that paperwork dating back to first days
of Rock Island County. A simple solution has
turned into confusion and the possibility for a costly fix. Joining us is Rock Island County recorder, Kelly Fisher, thank you
so much for joining us. – Thank you for having
me Jim, I appreciate it. – We were talking about big books. – Big books, yes. – And what are in these big books? – It is the history of
the land, transactions in Rock Island County,
dating back to 1835. A lot of the books are handwritten. Back in the day obviously
they didn’t have typewriters, let alone computers, things like that. So you go from handwritten
books to microfilmed documents onto the books, and so it’s the history of Rock Island County property. – And these books, like you said, are big. – They’re very big. – What, 22 pounds, 25 pounds? – An average of, the
smallest ones are 22 pounds. We have some old road plat
books that weight up to, probably 64, 65 pounds. – And how many of these
books do you have total? – We have approximately 2,500 books. – That’s amazing.
– Yes. – And right now they’re in the, I’m calling it the old courthouse for now, but they’re right now in
the courthouse property? – Correct. – Were you running out of space there? – No, we’re not running out of space, because we don’t add to the books. The amount of books that we have is what we’re always going to have. The problem that my
office is facing right now is with the construction
of the new courthouse, annex, whatever, my office
is not included in that move. The county is looking to find
a new home for me basically. It would be nice if we could be within the other county offices
in the county building and typically, what we’re
looking at is second floor. The problem with us being
anywhere in that building is if my office and my staff,
my customers, and the books, if we move my existing office
to the county building, that building is not structurally
sound, for the books. So we need to find a way to
either, get a new facility that is structurally sound so we can move my entire office over, or we need to look at digitizing my books. Which is an ideal opportunity
to get this done right now. And then we could store
the books in the basement or we could be separated
from the books somewhat. – ‘Cause let’s be honest,
the administrative building is just as old as the courthouse,
it’s almost the same age. So I mean that’s understandable. Let’s talk about the two options, one is perhaps that your
office would be in place A, and the books will be
somewhere in place B. That’s not optimal for you because? – I would like to keep them within the same building that I’m in. Because we do have historical societies, members of the community
that wanna come in and they wanna physically put
their hands on those books. And they wanna see the beautiful writing that used to be in ’em. They wanna do their genealogy
searches, things like that. So, for a title company,
they like the idea of fast, convenient, we’re gonna
pull it up on the computer, get our search done,
move onto the next one. But for the person
that’s coming in to look at their family history,
they wanna see that. They wanna see those
old books and actually, it gives them a part of
their family history. – And the key also is
that you wanna have staff that’s there, you’d have
to have staff that’s there, that keeps an eye on people
going through the books, or can actually help
people navigate through it. – Absolutely, absolutely. – The other option though, then, is to digitize all of these records? – Correct. – This is 2018.
– Right. – You’re probably saying, “gosh,” and I’m sure you probably
budgeted it years ago, is that this should have
been an ongoing process. – You know what, and I have
always budgeted for it. And I believe the
previous recorder had too. I’ve always budgeted a certain amount, typically that’s what
recorder’s offices do. It’s a project that,
all recorder’s offices in the state of Illinois
in probably, any state, in the United States, they want all of their records digitized. The problem is county finances. You know that’s what it
always seems to kinda, unfortunately go back to. I’ve always budgeted a certain amount, say 20, 25, 30,000 dollars, for the restoration of the books. To start a project and then
every year we can build on that. When you get to the budget process though, there’s always a need to cut. So it’s like do you cut your staff? Do you cut your essentials
or do you cut a project that you would love to
have, but is not necessarily pressing for this budget year? – How is it in other counties? I mean, when you compare
to other counties? – About the same. A lot of counties have
started the process. You know they’re within the
process, so every county’s gonna be dated back to a different year. Our images in Rock Island County right now in our computer go back to 1992. So some counties are
gonna be further back, some counties are gonna be, you know, not even as far as we are. So unfortunately, budget
dictates almost everything. – How much would it cost to do that whole project in your estimation? – It’s quite a sticker shock. I have been in the process of working with our new county administrator,
literally within the last week because we are under a time crunch also, with trying to be out of
the existing courthouse. So we’re looking at a project
of approximately 1.3 million, which does sound like a lot of money and it is a lot of money. When you break it down to how
it’s actually gonna benefit the county, once that project is paid for then it’s actually a revenue
generator for the county. Because the people that use our services, on the outside, I offer a product through Fidlar technologies called
Laredo and Tapestry. They’re able to get access
to our records 24/7. But they pay for that,
so the more information they can get without
coming into our office, then it’s just gonna be more
beneficial to the county, to the people that use
it, and to the taxpayers. Because the bottom line
is, we’re eventually going to start seeing
the revenue come back in. – Well because, I mean, a lot of people don’t know what the
recorder’s office does. You’re dealing with professional agencies and profit-oriented businesses. So tell me where the income is generated. – Okay, the income would
be generated right now, as I stated with the Laredo and Tapestry. Laredo is outside access to our records. We charge a subscription
fee, now we have companies from California to New York
and everywhere in between. A lot of local companies, we have about 35 to 40 companies right now. They pay for, to get
our access, right now, I do not pay for them to actually print. If they wanna, you know
they could view our images, but if I am able to offer
them the entire history of Rock Island County, and
they can print that off, and use it for their purposes. Then that is something that
I can start charging for. Whether it be 25 cents a print,
just to give you an idea, my vendor, Fidlar, they’ve been
running some numbers for me, and one company in
particular, I believe they’re based out of California,
they printed 64,000 pages just this year. That would, if I charged
them 25 cents a page that’s roughy 16,000 dollars,
in a little over half a year that could go back into the general fund. – They printed for Rock
Island County records? – Yes, because they’re doing.
– Them alone? – Yes, just Rock Island County records. The title industry in the
United States is incredible. It’s huge, you don’t realize
it because the consumer only needs the title industry
when they go to buy a house. And they may do that one or two, three times in their lifetime. You know, just like my
office a lot of times, people don’t even need to
come down to my office, and if they do, it’s
a little overwhelming. Because they don’t really
know what they’re looking for. But it’s news nationwide. – So your argument would be
let’s spend the 1.3 million as fast as we can because
you have to do this before you have to leave the building. And how quickly do you think
that money would be re-cooped, because you believe that it could be money-making proposition? – Right, there’s a couple
different answers to that. The company that I would be working with, in conjunction with Fidlar Technologies, is a company called US Imaging. They’re currently
working, they worked with, I believe like 665 counties
throughout the United States. Right now that company is
working on a huge project in Harris Texas, which I
believe is one of the biggest counties in the United States. They’re willing to pull
people off of their project in Harris Texas, bring ’em into my office, there would be eight people, working night and day, 24 hours a day. Two shifts, two 12 hour shifts. And they could capture those
images on all the old books. They could make a quick
capture of the image, they could do that in two weeks. They could, if this can
be passed by the board, which I know it’s been
moving very quickly, so we want to make sure we’re
doing it correctly also. So we’re in touch with
states attorney and the, you know, the county
administrator, treasurer, auditor. Everybody’s involved on this. We’re moving along very quickly because if we can get that passed, they can be in in mid-September, and they can be out in two weeks. – And when do you have to get out of the courthouse as far as you know? I mean that’s been a
moving target as well. – It’s a moving deadline. I think ideally, they
would like us out of there by probably November. But again it’s all dependent. If this doesn’t work, and
it’s a project that I am also starting to fund out of my own. I have what’s called a
recorder’s document fund. We have a fee for every recording that comes into the office. That money is broke down
into several different funds. The majority of it goes into
the county general fund. My office also fully funds
the GIS and zoning department. A lot of people don’t know that. The smallest cut of our
recording fee then goes back into a fund called the
recorder’s document fund. And that fund is strictly,
the intent of that fund, years ago, and in the statute, is
to keep up with the office. You know, modernize it
as much as possible, whether it be computers, well
this would be the ultimate modernization of my office. And it’s coming at a wonderful time. So I am able to contribute just
on the onset 330,000 dollars towards a project so that brings
it down to about a million. Still it’s a lot of money and I know that the county coffers are short. But if we could get that
funded through some mechanism or another, I think it would, again. You know I can continue
to start paying it back as I earn money in my document fund. But it’s a matter of you know,
we need to split this up. Hopefully we can do it
over a five year period. Then the company can continue
to work on getting more. It’s a process, you know,
they capture the image, and then they go back,
they get about 85 percent good images the first
time, which is pretty good. Then they’ll go back, the next step would, they identify the 15 percent
that didn’t look so good. And then they just kinda work it on down. Yeah so it’s a process. From beginning to end,
it’s gonna be about, probably I’d say 15 months. So right now, the biggest hurdle
is the funding, obviously. – How’s the likelihood of this? Cause you said you’d been working with the county administrator? – It’s something that we’re
definitely working on. I can’t say, I literally
checked my email before I came on the air with
you, and we’ve still got some questions about the funding, but it’s looking like it’s
definitely a possibility. Working with Fidlar
Technologies they are able to at this point, kind of be a go-between. And we can kinda fund it through them, so it makes it a little bit easier. We’ve been a good partner and they’ve been a great partner for us
for almost 30 years. So Fidlar, they’re one of
the best in the business and they’re really trying to help us. And they’re local, you
know, they were in Moline. They just moved over to
Davenport a few years ago. But they know, all they
do are county land records and they know the importance of them. And they also know, of course, the local Rock Island County and our budget issues. So they’re really stepping up
to plate to try and help us. – Rock Island County
recorder Kelly Fisher, thank you so much for joining us. – Thank you very much, I appreciate it. – Good to understand
your office, what you do. And the uphill battle
that you have as well. – We’ll get it done though. – Still ahead, farming, that’s
literally over your head. But first, Laura Adams is
ready to help you enjoy everything The Cities
offers you, your family, and your friends, if you go out and about. (upbeat music) – [Lora] This is Out and About
for August 13th through 19th. Hi, I’m Laura Adams, spend
the 18th paddling from one of five launch sites to
Lake Potter in Sunset Park in Rock Island as a part of Floatzilla. Or catch the Quad City Symphony
Riverfront Pops Concert featuring the music of The
Beach Boys in LeClaire Park. There’s the New Windsor
Fair Rodeo and Horse Show August 16th through 18th,
the sixth annual Hampton Days takes place at the Hampton Heritage Center with a car show, music,
and family fun on the 18th. East Moline hosts their Freedom
Fest in the downtown area on the 18th, with family fun for everyone. Or bring your four-legged
friend to Riverside Park for the Fur and Friends
Fundraiser on the 19th. There’s a trivia night
Friday the 17th at The Rock in Coal Valley to support the Youth Shooting Sports Association. Or join a trivia night
supporting the programs of Friendly House at the Knights of Columbus in Davenport on the 17th. Grab a lawn chair for
the Moline Centre Summer Concert Series at Bass Street Landing, with The Tailfins on the 16th. Mercado on fifth features
La Sombra and celebrate the 80th birthday of Bob
Ontiveros’ on the 17th. The Tony Award winning
musical Next to Normal finishes it’s run at The Black Box Theater through the 18th, while
the abba-solutely fabulous musical Mamma Mia continues
on the Circa ’21 stage. For more information, visit WQPT.org. – Thank you Laura, Kevin
Carton is the front man for the pop, rock group
known as Minus Six. We caught up with him when
he took the stage alone performing for us at
Moline’s Black Box Theater. That’s where he played for
us an original composition he calls, “Jump In”. (happy piano music) ♪ Like ivy, you have spread across ♪ ♪ the contours of my thoughts, ♪ ♪ That don’t seem to be the
only thing your spreadin’. ♪ ♪ A child I pushed you out of line ♪ ♪ against what I’ve been taught. ♪ ♪ Are you aware, I’ll join you there, ♪ ♪ where are we heading? ♪ ♪ I savor the sweet flavor of ♪ ♪ your passion fruit red lips. ♪ ♪ Your great green fruit dove eyes ♪ ♪ Have me paralyzed in a glance. ♪ ♪ Yeah, this tango we’re spinnin’ ♪ ♪ has me grinnin’, giddy with each dip. ♪ ♪ Not a step off beat on where
my two feet could dance. ♪ ♪ Why not now, feel it growin’ stronger. ♪ ♪ Hurts so good, can’t
take it any longer. ♪ ♪ I’m divin’ in, I don’t
care where ya been. ♪ ♪ The alignment of stars
takes time matchin’ hearts. ♪ ♪ One more time, can’t
stop from wantin’ this. ♪ ♪ Best believe even before
you leave you missed ♪ ♪ Inch closer still, how
you likin’ this thrill, ♪ ♪ Don’t make me guess,
you know I’m a yes. ♪ ♪ Like Hook said to Tom, “why
wait I’m your fan, jump in.” ♪ (happy piano music) ♪ Keep on bumpin I wanna feel more, ♪ ♪ Never before have I heard such a roar. ♪ ♪ Moving your spirit your
storm makes it soar. ♪ ♪ Servin’ the base with
a rhythm that kicks, ♪ ♪ Feelin’ the vibe, gettin’ a fix. ♪ ♪ Keep on bumpin’ I wanna feel more. ♪ ♪ The music you scores
me on the dance floor. ♪ ♪ Movin’ your spirit the
storm makes it soar. ♪ ♪ Slappin’ the strings,
the keys in my heart ♪ ♪ poundin’ so fast, tear me apart. ♪ ♪ Keep on bumpin’ I wanna I feel more. ♪ (happy piano music) ♪ Hummin’ bird you’re gainin’ speed, ♪ ♪ am I your favorite flower? ♪ ♪ Clutched upon your back, fly me away. ♪ ♪ I’ll be your papusa, mill me, fill me, ♪ ♪ grill me, and devour. ♪ ♪ Tell me what your thinkin’. ♪ ♪ My your lookin’ mighty hungry today. ♪ ♪ Why not now, feel it growin’ stronger. ♪ ♪ Hurts so good, can’t
take it any longer. ♪ ♪ I’m divin’ in I don’t
care where you been. ♪ ♪ The alignment of stars,
takes time matching hearts. ♪ ♪ One more time, can’t
stop from wantin’ this. ♪ ♪ Best believe, even before
you leave you missed. ♪ ♪ Inch closer still, how
you likin’ this thrill, ♪ ♪ Don’t make me guess,
you know I’m a yes. ♪ ♪ Trust me when I say the water’s
perfect to swim, jump in. ♪ ♪ Your fingers take firm hold of my chin ♪ ♪ And you pull me in, as you
touch your nose lightly ♪ ♪ To mine. ♪ ♪ Ignite my torch baby,
fill me with air. ♪ ♪ Like a balloon you make
me float higher than, ♪ ♪ moonshine and I’m
purring like a feline. ♪ ♪ Like Hook said to Tom,
“why wait I’m your fan,” ♪ ♪ Trust me when I say the
water’s perfect to swim. ♪ ♪ After you know I’m already
stripped to my skin, jump in. ♪ ♪ Feel it growin’ stronger,
can’t take it any longer. ♪ ♪ I don’t care where you
been, where you been. ♪ ♪ Even before you leave, don’t missed. ♪ ♪ Don’t make me guess,
you know I’m a yes. ♪ ♪ Can’t stop from wantin’ this. ♪ – Kevin Carton with “Jump In”. You can hear him and his
band Minus Six at Moline’s River House from time to
time, and they’ll be playing at Rock Island Schwiebert Park next month. Well it doesn’t get much more local than this, Davenport’s
Hy-Vee has commissioned Friday’s Fresh Market
to install and maintain two eight tower grow walls. Their hydroponic vertical gardens. They sell the produce in the store. And Lora Adams caught up with the people behind the unique farm, it’s
Chen and Andrew Freitag. Hi, I’m Lora Adams and I’m
here at Friday’s Fresh Market and we are going to show you what hydroponic vertical
farming looks like. Come on inside. I’m here with Andrew and Chen Freitag, and they are the owners, operators, they are the entrepreneurs
behind Friday’s Fresh Market. And this is a hydroponic, vertical farm. And I have to admit, it’s
something I’ve never seen before. Not in person, I certainly
looked it up on Google. But this is really remarkable. Andrew tell me how is it that you got into this particular business? – Well we’re bringing farming indoors, and we’re seeing that it’s very beneficial to grow certain crops
in here versus outside. I grew up as a farmer,
and working the fields, and working in the AG industry and we could pinpoint
the gaps in that method. So by bringing it indoors,
growing it with hydroponics, climate controlled room, and LED lighting, we can really predict
what we’re gonna grow and how much of it we’re gonna grow. – Now Chen, you come from a background, A you come from a big city,
so you’re not a farm girl and you come from a background that was, – Investment consulting.
– Yes, investment consulting. That’s very different than
following your husband into this business, what was it that made you want to do that? – Well, I think it’s about really, at a certain point, you ask yourself what you wanna do and
what makes you happy. So I think that’s the driven
power behind all this, ’cause I wanna make an
impact and not just, in my personal life but also,
the home I call it right now, and to myself which is
across cities is I want to make an impact in local area. That and to help the local communities and people to live a healthy life, and to be better, to feel better, yeah. So that’s the driven power. – One of the things that I saw, because I wasn’t sure
how this all started. But you have these little
pods, that you put the seed in. And so what’s the actual process from seed to actual table top? – [Chen] There are two
stages and the first is we recall a propagation
and a germination stage, which is that you plant
a seed in a grow plug, which it takes them about two
weeks to germinate the seed. And then the third week,
we transplant them. We transplant them into
those NFT channels, and they stay there for
anywhere four to six weeks, and then they turn into a
full grown head of lettuce. – Now I was also noticing that, ’cause you were saying that
the water that runs through that is the nutrients that
these plants are getting, how do you know, how do you decide what nutrients go with what vegetables? – [Andrew] We work with the
experts in the industry, and, it’s a blend of 16
minerals and vitamins that we put in the water. It dilutes in the water,
and then we just put a film of that water over the
roots on the plants. They drink it up and
they grow really well. – [Lora] So what are some of
the consumers saying about the flavor of what it
is that your producing? – [Chen] Well the flavor
actually is just unbelievable. Because apparently that
we have fresher greens, then they’re gonna taste better. And also, we have some micro greens and those micro greens,
their flavor are enormous. ‘Cause some might taste like
raddish and some taste lemon-y. And some even taste like spicy. So you know, just by
blending different kind of flavors and it just spice
up people’s daily salad or whatever they use them for. It’s gonna bring them a
completely different kind of experience when they consume the greens. Instead of just very plain and a very bland flavor they’re used to. – Now I notice that the
lights in the container are red and blue, I mean those LED lights, are they different in this room? And why are they different? – [Andrew] We work with five
different lights right now and a little bit of it is our own research and development on what’s
working best for certain crops. But that’s really what it comes down to. Which crop are we
growing dictates the type of lighting that we’re gonna give them. And the type of lighting
we give them will give us, you know, bigger yields, better
color, and even the flavor. – [Lora] So what’s next,
what’s the next step then? – [Chen] Well I think
that our next step is to first, popularize this,
because we want everybody to have access to those fresh greens. And then, hopefully that we
can take this to the next level to scale it up, because it’s
still very small footage. You know, we have an extra
shipping container in here. We only serve a certain group of people that we cannot take on the whole region. However, we would like
to, so the next step is for us to serve more consumers. Hopefully we can build
another farm, who knows, you know or maybe even
a showcase piece, right? – [Lora] Yeah and the other
thing I was thinking too is, with LED lighting, do you
think that’s why there’s more of an inclination to
start this kind of farming? – [Chen] For the LEDs
that it’s very consistent, and the power to strength is the same, and so we can really,
kind of be ensured of our yields and our
production, and we’ll be maintaining at a stable
level versus you know, just like greenhouse
or traditional farming. – [Andrew] It’s been really exciting, for a lot of reasons, one we
enjoy doing what we’re doing. We’re in here, it’s hands on, it’s therapeutic to work with the plants. It gives us freedom throughout
our day to do what we want. But it has a big impact on
the economy in the global. What impact that we’re having
with is carbon footprint, and just trying to build a
better future, for the kids. We use 90 percent less
water in our operations than outdoor farming, we
don’t have the run-off, we don’t have the evaporation. We use 50 percent less
nutrients and fertilizers than outdoor farming, so there’s already from day one, a big impact. You take all the trucking
out of the situation as well, and the storage and all
of that effort and energy that it takes to support the
traditional farming method. We’re seeing a drastic improvement because of just bringing it indoors. It’s climate controlled,
we have very very accurate control over every element
that’s in this room. And we can predict what
our yields are gonna be, and how much we’re gonna have to offer. So it’s a much better business model, which gives us reassurance
and just kinda let’s us focus on the funner part of the business and that’s growing the vegetables. – Thank you Lora, Lora Adams with Chen and Andrew Freitag
of Friday’s Fresh Market. WQPT is doing it’s part to
support the military men and women in the cities
who are serving our nation. We call it Embracing the Military. It’s called Living History, World War two is coming to the
Riverfront on August 30th, the only fully operational
landing ship tank from that war, will dock at the Isle Casino
Hotel Marina in Bettendorf, and World War two veterans
can tour it for free. Tours for the public
will be held each day. The ship is here through September third. The LST-325 has been restored
to it’s original condition. As a matter of fact, get this,
10,000 people toured the ship when it was last in the
cities, 10 years ago. On the air, on the radio, and on the web, plus on your mobile device. Thanks for taking some time to join us as we talk about the issues on The Cities. (music) – [Voiceover] Public affairs
programming on WQPT is brought to you by The Singh
Group at Merrill Lynch, serving the wealth
management needs of clients in the region for over 25 years.

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