Efforts to construct the Winnebago Countys new $130 million, 1,212-bed jail as quickly as possible without disruption were furthered when board members overwhelmingly approved a resolution that calls for negotiating a labor agreement with the Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trade Council, which consists of 18 trade unions. The agreement all but eliminates the possibility of a strike during construction.
The threat that could stop construction of the jail lies in federal court in which Timothy Chatmon, the primary plaintiff in a 2000 jail overcrowding lawsuit, has repeatedly expressed his desire to fire his attorneys for not addressing issues that he said will not be solved by constructing the jail. During a Jan. 17 interview, Chatmon said if he can find a new attorney for his case, he may ask for an injunction to halt construction.
One of the new jails construction managers, Scandroli Construction Co., won a $2.819 million contract to construct the countys new 911 communications center, which will be located on North Main Street near River Bluff Nursing Home. Scandroli was low bidder among eight competitors.
Board members approved spending $94,500 on a study that would examine how to retain and attract companies in the food processing, plastics, logistics, warehousing and distribution industries. The study will be conducted by the Northern Illinois University Regional Development Institution.