MACOMB — The McDonough County Board’s road and bridge committee voted Thursday to recommend approval of an agreement to hire an attorney to draw up a contract for road use in constructing wind turbines on area farmland. County Engineer Rick Walker said McDonough and Warren County, as well as one township in each county, would share costs with Capital Power, the wind farm developer, and then Capital Power would reimburse costs for the counties and townships.
Walker said an agreement has been completed and that State’s Attorney Matt Kwacala has given it his approval. He said the cost of the outside attorney contract could be up to $20,000 for the five parties to share.
The county engineer said he would be attending an Illinois Department of Transportation workshop in Springfield on Monday to see if the county might be eligible to apply for an Illinois Competitive Freight Grant. Money is used to improve highways for commercial truck transportation.
The county is not on the federal primary freight system. “It’s not a complete done deal that we couldn’t apply,” Walker said. “We would have to make our case for the need. The money could be used to upgrade highway routes to grain terminals.“
Walker said that a final project report has been submitted to IDOT for a bridge deck replacement near Plymouth and that 25 to 30 local bridges have been inspected with annual reports given to the state. He said plans are being finalized for IDOT approval of county rebuilding of the bridge over Kepple Creek in Mound Township.
The county engineer said that design work is in progress on a bridge culvert replacement in Township District #1, and that survey work is being done for culvert replacements on North 1150th Road in Scotland Township and on Emory Road in Emmet Township.
Walker said that a bid letting has been scheduled for March 13 to get bituminous costs for oil to be used on local roads this year. Crew supervisor David Cadwalader said five or six days in January were occupied by clearance of snow, sleet, and ice on county snow routes. He said crews also handled pothole repairs, brush mowing, and sign maintenance and that two downed trees were removed from county highways.
Cadwalader said the county highway employees attended flagger training and had their certifications renewed for another three years.