900 people at Perryville meeting, most booing

900 people at Perryville meeting, most booing

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

About 900 individuals showed up at Roscoe Middle School Monday night to demand answers from the county on the Perryville extension. The county wants to extend the road from Rt. 173 to the Wisconsin border. Yet Roscoe Township may not allow the county to build across township land.

Winnebago County Board Chairwoman Kristine Cohn and county engineer Joe Vanderwerff received boos from the audience, as they and a handful of board members and employees answered questions that people wrote on index cards.

The Roscoe Township Board hosted the event, with the League of Women Voters acting as the moderator.

Larry Bauer (R-2) and Charlie Hollerith (R-2) represent the area. Bauer said he attended to listen to concerns. He is against the extension. “I’ve been accused of taking the popular vote,” he said. “My district says, ‘we don’t want the road extended.’”

Hollerith said it isn’t in the best interest of anyone to support a four-lane highway. Hollerith stated he would derive a resolution to expand 251 and I-90 to six lanes from Rockford to Wisconsin.

Hollerith also wants to improve and widen Willow Brook Road from Prairie Hill Road to Wisconsin. “That would take care of project traffic counts,” he noted. He will present his plan to the Public Works Committee Tuesday.

One question concerned whether the county will put the issue on the referendum for voters to decide.

Polly Berg (D-7) mentioned that she asked the board last Thursday to consider putting the issue on referendum, and the issue will go to the Public Works Committee.

Pete MacKay (R-5) took on the inquiry about what taxpayers in another area think about the extension. “I can tell you, from my district, virtually everybody I have talked to down there considers the Perryville extension a monstrous waste of money.”

Another question asked in regard to the expensive, $34 million project, was, “If we don’t have the money, why is it being considered and approved now?”

County Administrator Steve Chapman pointed out the county used motor fuel taxes, county funds and alternate bonds to complete other Perryville segments. However, he said no decisions for funding have been made at this time. Cohn said, “Perryville Road has been built when the dollars are there.”

Township roadblock?

After the meeting, Tom Hawes, Roscoe Township supervisor, said the township won’t allow the county to build the road.

The county would have to cross through Stone Bridge Trail. All five proposed alignments require the crossing through that area.

The county wouldn’t be able to use eminent domain on the township because one government can’t use eminent domain on another. “We’re looked at as equals under the law,” Hawes noted.

“We don’t want a four-lane highway,” he stated. “It doesn’t do anything for the Roscoe community.”

He said the county wants to ram the road through, no matter what. “They say, ‘Which way do you want to be killed?’”

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