The city council has accepted a proposal from the Nortillo Consulting Group for completing and filing the necessary amendment application to join an existing enterprise zone, during its May 28 meeting. The zone’s area encompasses Harvard, Woodstock, and unincorporated McHenry County, and was established in 2014. Teresa Nortillo, of the consulting group, is the city’s economic development consultant.
NCG’s low bid was $10,000 to complete and file the amended application plus additional research expenses, and was one of three bid proposals entered. Bids were also received from Charlie Eldredge, the current Enterprise Zone Administrator, who submitted a $25,000 estimate plus contingency costs, and The Development Corporation (TDC) with an estimate of $15,000 to review the application, $50,000 to file and complete the application, and undetermined additional research expenses.
“The 6-2 approval vote was based on cost,” said City Administrator Josh Blakemore. “The actual map of sites…those areas are still under discussion. We are focusing on the Route 23/I-90 Interchange area. The enterprise zone is a good tool for economic growth and marketing for development options, while providing local incentives. No public hearing date has been set, and the process will go on through the summer.” The application adds a new unit of government and requires the following steps: a public hearing, passing and amending designation ordinances, amending the intergovernmental agreement, and filing the application. The zone is approved by the state of Illinois and designed to help spur commercial growth in areas designated as economically depressed.
Blakemore noted that $35,000 was included in the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget for the zone. In addition to application costs, Marengo’s expected annual contribution is no more than $20,000 to it operation. He also noted that Woodstock and Harvard currently contribute a combined $40,000 annually.
LEGISLATION SEEKS NAMING ROUTE 23/I-90 INTERCHANGE FOR KELTNER
A resolution to name the Route 23/I-90 Interchange for the late McHenry County Sheriff ’s Deputy Jacob Keltner easily passed through the Illinois House of Representatives May 28 and moves to the senate for approval.
The legislation was introduced by Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock to honor his memory. Keltner was killed in the parking lot of a Rockford motel Mar. 7, as part of a detail with federal marshals, while serving an arrest warrant. In a press release, Reick stated, “His death brought the community together and heightened awareness of just how fortunate we all are to have brave public servants like Jacob Kelter, who put themselves in harm’s way so we can be safe…and illustrates the profound appreciation for his dedication.”
The interchange is now expected to have a 2020 completion date, as opposed to later this year, due to inclement weather conditions hampering construction progress.
NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS GIVEN OATH OF OFFICE
Marengo City Attorney David McArdle administered the oath of office to the four new members of the city council, during the regular May 13 meeting. Two members, Joseph Mills (Ward 3) and Jacob Secor (Ward 4), were appointed by Mayor John Koziol to fill vacant council seats, as no candidates were entered in last April’s election. They were approved by a 4-0 vote, and their terms will expire April 30, 2021. Elected members, Michael DeSorto (Ward 2) and Mike Miller (Ward 1) were also given the oath, at the ceremony. Their first official action was joining aldermen Dennis Hammortree and Steve Mortensen in a unanimous 6-0 vote approving a mayoral proclamation American Legion Poppy Days, slated for May 18-19.