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County goes on the road

PRINCETON – Transportation projects, attorneys and the reappointment of the county highway engineer were on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Bureau County Board.

In one of five resolutions, Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Sondgeroth presented a resolution requesting consent from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to reappoint John Gross as Bureau County’s highway engineer for another six-year term. Gross’s current six-year contract expires on the last day of July.

By procedure, Bureau County has to go first to IDOT for its approval of Gross’s re-appointment, since the engineer’s salary is split 50/50 between IDOT and the county, Sondgeroth said. After IDOT’s approval is received, the county board will take action on Gross’s reappointment at its July meeting.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, Bureau County and the Illinois Department of Transportation will each pay $49,469 for the county highway engineer’s salary, with the county’s share to be paid from local motor fuel taxes.

Dealing with other resolutions presented by Sondgeroth, the county board granted a contract to MicroSurfacing LLC for cape seal and other improvement work for Backbone Road (County Highway 9) with a low bid of $235,489. The required 20 percent of local funds from federal aid matching at a cost of $47,097.

The county board also awarded the contract for culvert hotmix asphalt patch work on county roads to McDonald Trucking and Paving at a low bid of $28,435.

The board also unanimously approved the seal coat work contract for various county highways to Pavement Maintenance Services with a bid of $169,942. This was the only bid received for this project, Sondgeroth said.

In other transportation action, Sondgeroth said the Transportation Committee had a bid letting on June 10 for needed materials and maintenance work for the county’s crack seal maintenance program. Several bids were received and considered during the committee meeting prior to Tuesday’s board meeting, resulting in the committee’s recommendation to accept the bid from the Ace in the Hole Co., at a cost of $45,771, The bid acceptance is contingent upon an eight-day required time period for any possible bid protests, which means the final award date would be June 18, Sondgeroth said.

Also, the board agreed to hire attorney Cheryl Kuzma to represent the county as it works on a new road agreement with Geronimo Energy, new owners of the proposed Walnut Ridge wind farm. The existing road agreement has expired, Sondgeroth said. Preliminary discussions have begun on a new road agreement between the county and Geronimo Energy. Her salary will be paid by the wind farm developer, at no cost to the county, Sondgeroth said.

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