Perryville proposal hits dead end?

Perryville proposal hits dead end?

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

On Monday at the Winnebago County Administration Building, 404 Elm St., board Chairwoman Kris Cohn announced the county will put the brakes on the Perryville extension and not spend another penny.

Roscoe township owns Stone Bridge Trail which cannot be crossed without the township, a state commission and the governor’s permission. The township refused to yield to county plans and pressure. Cohn said that because of Roscoe Township’s lack of cooperation, the project will cease. But she said “legal” and “factual” issues are being considered. The county had plans to wind the $34 million extension from 173 up to the stateline.

Also on Monday night, hundreds of extension adversaries attended a meeting at Roscoe Middle School. Eugene Brown, president of the Illinois Conservation Voters, and Tom Hawes, Roscoe Township supervisor, hosted the event.

Despite Cohn’s announcement, Brown said the county will “come back, like Jason in Friday the 13th.”

In addition, Hawes dismissed Cohn’s claims of the county lacking knowledge of the township’s agenda. He stated the county was well aware of plans. “Apparently, they forgot somewhere along the line,” he said.

On Jan. 29, more than 900 concerned, area citizens attended a county public hearing at the school and booed Cohn and other county officials.

After the meeting, Hawes announced that the township would prevent construction of Perryville through Stone Bridge Trail, which is necessary for all five county-proposed alignments to cross.

Moreover, the county couldn’t invoke eminent domain because one government entity can’t exercise eminent domain against another government entity.

Just three days earlier, at a public meeting with state environmental organizations, county leaders ascertained that the township contrived the obstacle in 1995, Cohn stated.

“We were told that Roscoe Township had literally created a roadblock for the north/south construction,” she noted. “If the road cannot be built with the cooperation of the township, then the road will not be built.”

Cohn expressed her disappointment with the township. “This year, we thought we were doing what was right,” she stated. “There were people who already knew in 1995. Steps had been taken to block this project.”

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