County Board moves forward with bridge improvements

By Kendra Hennis 
The regularly scheduled Douglas County Board meeting began at 9 a.m. on January 15, 2020. 

The board approved the motions, as recommended by the personnel, legal and management committee, to approve an amendment to extend local agency agreement for state participation for section 13-00106-01-PV job number R-95-326-15 and section 13-00106-02-PV job number R-95-328-15 for Cronus Chemicals Infrastructure Improvements. This amendment just allows for the project to be extended as it needs more time. 

The board then approved Resolution 2020-R-02 approving 16 Article CATB Petitions for fiscal year 2020. The first petition was from Arcola Highway Commissioner Mark Nacke in reference to the bridge on South Line of the Southeast quarter of Section 35, Township 14, North Range 8 East of the third p.m. The work to be performed is the relining of the double thirty-six inch barrel culvert with thirty-two inch diameter HDPE pipe liners, grouting ditch grading, rip rap construction, and other items of related work. The amount approved for appropriation from the County Board Bridge Fund is $7,100. 

The second petition was from Bowdre Road District Highway Commissioner James Hendrix in reference to the bridge on 1475 East over the Scattering Fork Southwest corner, Northwest quarter section 15, R9#, T15N. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure with adequate hydraulic capacity and necessary Roadway Approaches. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund in the amount of $70,000.

The third petition was from Garrett Road District Highway Commissioner Ed Swisher in reference to the bridge on 825 North County Road 250 East, one mile South of Garrett. The work to be performed is removing existing structure and construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity and construction of roadway approach. The amount approved for appropriation from the County Bridge Fund is $28,500.

The fourth petition was from Newman Road District Highway Commissioner Joe Bush for the bright at 2300 East County Road 800 North Southeast corner, Southeast quarter, Southwest quarter, Section 1, Range 11 East, T 15 North. The work to performed is the removal of existing structure construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity and construction of roadway approaches. The amount approved for appropriation from the County Bridge Fund was $11,928. 

The fifth petition was from the Newman Road District Highway Commissioner Joe Bush in reference to the bridge at 2820 East County Road 1150 North, Vicinity Northeast corner, Northeast quarter section 21, R 11 East, T 16 North. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure and construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity and construction of roadway approaches. The amount approved for appropriation from the County Bridge Fund was $11,778.

The sixth petition was from the Newman Road District Highway Commissioner Joe Bush in reference to the bridge at 2700 East County Road 1250 North Northeast Corner, Northwest quarter, Northeast quarter section, Section 20, T 16 North, R 11 East. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure and construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity of roadway construction of roadway approaches. The amount approved for appropriated from the County Bridge Fund was $9,384.

The seventh petition was from Arcola Road District Highway Commissioner Mark Nacke in reference to the bridge near the Northwest corner of the Northwest quarter section 19, Twp. 15 North, Range 8 East, third p.m. three miles East of Galton 590 North County Road 1200 East. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure that collapsed into the drainage district. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $10,250.

The eighth petition was from the Murdock Road District Highway Commissioner William Deckard in reference to the bridge on the Southwest corner, Northwest quarter 4, T 16 North. R 10 East third p.m. 1475 North County Road 2050 East. The work to be performed is the removal of existing damaged and under capacity CMP culvert and construction of 8 by 2 concrete box culverts of adequate hydraulic capacity, road repair, and items of related construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $10.037.50. 

The ninth petition was from the Bourbon Road District Highway Commissioner Steve Helton in reference to the bridge on 220 North, 280 East, approximately two miles Southwest of Chesterville. The work to be performed is the design and construction of a new single span bridge with adequate hydraulic capacity to replace the existing timber pile bridge that was recently closed and taken out of service by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The amount approved for appropriation from the County Bridge Fund is $155,250. 

The tenth position was from Bourbon Township Highway Commissioner Steve Helton in reference to the bridge near the Northeast corner of the Northwest quarter of section 6, Township 15 North, range 7 East of the 3 p.m. half a mile south of Arthur 25 East County Road 300 North. The work to be performed is the removal of the existing structure and construction of new structure of adequate drainage capacity, new roadway, guardrail, and other items of construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $190,000. 

The eleventh petition was from Bourbon Township Highway Commissioner Steve Helton in reference to the bridge near the Southeast corner of the Southeast quarter of section 1, Township 14 North, Range 7 East of the third p.m. two and a half miles West of Arcola on County Road 575 East. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $15,000.

The twelfth position was from Bowdre Road District Highway Commissioner James Hendrix in reference to the bridge at the culvert at 1665 East County Road 400 North near the Southeast corner, Southeast quarter section 26, R 9 East, T 15 North. The work to be performed is the removal of existing failing culvert and the construction of a new twelve by fifteen reinforced concrete box culvert, pavement repair, erosion control devices, and other items of related construction. The amount approved fro appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $16,668. 

The thirteenth position was from Bowdre Road District Highway Commissioner James Hendrix in reference to the bridge at 1470 East County Road 100 North, Vicinity Northeast corner, Northwest quarter section 15, Township 14 North, range 9 East. The work to performed is the removal of existing structure, construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity, roadway approaches and other items of related construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $42.217.50.

The fourteenth position was from Garrett Road District Highway Commissioner Ed Swisher in reference to the bridge on 330 East County Road 1100 North, Vicinity Southwest corner, Southwest quarter, Northeast quarter, section 28, Township 16 North, range 7. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure, construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity, roadway approaches and other items of related construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $48,069.50.

The fifteenth petition was form Arcola Road District Highway Commissioner Mark Nacke in reference to the bridge located on 13025 East County Road 600 North, Vicinity Northwest corner, Northeast quarter, section 20, Township 15 North, range 9 East. The work needed to be performed is the removal of existing structure and construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity, roadway approaches and other items of related construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $45,657.50. 

The final petition was from Bourbon Road District Highway Commissioner Steve Helton in reference to the bridge located at 220 North County Road 575 East, Vicinity Southwest corner, Southeast quarter section 1, Township 14 North, range 7 East. The work to be performed is the removal of existing structure and construction of a new structure with adequate hydraulic capacity, roadway approaches and other items of related construction. The amount approved for appropriation from County Bridge Fund is $145,157.50. 

There were a lot of visitors and public comments. The first was by Steve Allen as a follow up to last month’s meeting concerning the decommissioning of wind turbines at the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm. Allen asked the board if they had a response as to which Board Chairman Don Munson responded that the decommissioning process was included inside the documents already available. He said, “all of the wind farm ordinances have the wind farm decommissioning plan there.” To this, Allen responded that he would look further into those ordinances but he “wanted to make sure that when those things were coming down that there was a place for them.” Munson then responded “there are safeguards in there that cover things, and I don’t know what else we could do beyond that.” 

The next question was brought to the council by a concerned citizen who asked if Stanley and Associates were still involved with the construction of the wind farm. The question was deferred to Douglas County Engineer Jim Crane who explained that at this point they are still involved in the process but the County has taken over most of the construction.

Nancy Allen then asked “many meetings ago you used the word “tweaking the ordinance together for phase two” is there going to be a phase two? Is that definitely on or off the board? My other question would be how would you address that with the public going forward to let us know about what is going on? And in that same regard, is there discussion of industrial solar and will be there be a public hearing with that since there was a for the wind ordinance? We would like to know what kind of tweaking is going to be done and what is happening with phase two.” Munson replied that “No, there are no plans for phase two. Phase two has never even been discussed. In regard to solar, we are involved from the standpoint that the Stanley and Associates having to do with a solar ordinance. At this point, we would like to move forward with it, but we have not made any discussions with them to go forward with anything at this time.”

The next question comment was from Ed Luth, who would like to have the question ‘Do you want to separate from Chicago and become a fifty-first state?’ added to the ballot in the next election. Muson replied that he “feels at this time that the board should not take up issues upon which they could have no direct barring toward.” Luth replied that it would definetly be a long road, and he would like to see Douglas County be ahead of it, and “if enough of us do it, it could be done.” Munson replied that, “I too am frustrated with what goes on in politics in Illinois at this time, and for a long time. But, with everything else going on in this county that we are trying to keep straight, I just don’t think that we have the time.” 

The final comment was from Jim Allen who was asking for clarification about the Douglas County Board of Health. There was still one vacancy in the board. Munson explained that they still have to interview the other candidate. 

The board also:

– Approved the minutes from the December 9 special board meeting. 

– Approved the minutes from the December 18 regular board meeting. 

– Approved the payments of the county’s financial obligations. 

– Approved the reports of fees of County Offices. 

– Approved the correction of changing resolution 19-R-32 to resolution 2019-R-37 that was approved at the December meeting. The change was just needed in order to keep the records correct. 

– Approved resolution 2020-R-01, which will give mileage reimbursements in the amount of 57.5 cents to Douglas County employees using their personal vehicles for official work use. 

– Appointed Jeremy Leonard to the Douglas County Board of Health until November 30, 2022. 

– Adjourned until the next regular board meeting on February 19 at 9 a.m. 

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