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Other news and notes from the Nov. 12 Winnebago County Board meeting
Posted By Staff On November 18, 2009 @ 12:26 am In Online Exclusives | No Comments
By Stuart R. Wahlin
The following resolutions were passed during the Nov. 12 Winnebago County Board meeting:
• Approving renewal of casualty and workers’ compensation insurance in the amount of $639,016. According to the resolution, the county will be increasing its general liability coverage from $7 million to $20 million. Arthur J. Gallagher, the county’s third-party administrator, will be paid $55,000.
• Authorizing an $11,747.28 settlement of a claim by Heide Sherman for permanent disability from injuries sustained while working at River Bluff Nursing Home.
• Approving a $27,724.74 permanent disability settlement with Darinka Kuljanin for injuries while employed at River Bluff.
• Authorizing the transfer of land along Illinois Route 251, between Theodore Street and Windsor Road, to the City of Loves Park.
• Approving an $11,808.68 change order for William Charles Electric, resulting from unanticipated costs associated with a Perryville Road bike path crossing.
• Approving a $24,111.80 change order for William Charles Construction, for additional costs associated with the Bell School Road project.
• Authorizing execution of an intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Machesney Park regarding improvements to the intersection of Ralston Road and Bluebonnet Drive. $750,000 in federal stimulus funding has been allocated for the project—$630,000 to the county and $120,000 to the village. Per the agreement, Machesney Park will reimburse the county for its $18,000 share of design and construction engineering costs, plus half of maintenance for traffic signal and energy costs, and any overruns for improvements to Bluebonnet Drive.
• Authorizing a $55,118.00 construction engineering services agreement with Fehr-Graham and Associates related to the construction of the South Bend Road bridge over Kilbuck Creek. The construction is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
• Authorizing a professional services agreement with the Winnebago County Soil and Water Conservation District. The county’s surface water management ordinance requires plan reviews and inspections of construction sites, which are paid for through fees paid by developers.
• Authorizing the renaming of Spring Creek Road, between Perryville and Bell School roads, to Olde Creek Road, effective Dec. 1. The estimated cost associated with the name change is $3,000.
• Authorizing an $8,800 professional services agreement with Testing Service Corporation for construction materials testing and inspection services related to the Prairie Hill Road resurfacing project between Route 251 and Willowbrook Road.
• Awarding a $362,992.68 bid to William Charles Construction, upon IDOT approval, for improvements to South Bluff Road.
• Abating property taxes for land owned by WC Holdings, LLC, also known as World Cup Packaging, at 14392 De La Tour Road in South Beloit. The company is adding 7,400-square-feet to its facility, along with 10 new full-time jobs initially. By the end of 2010, the company expects to add another five positions. Economic Development Committee Chairman John Ekberg (R-10) indicated approximately $1,900 would be abated in total.
Board rejects settlement offer
After a brief closed session, board members voted down a resolution to settle litigation in an eminent domain case for land acquisition related to the Bell School Road project between Mill Road and Argus Drive.
Mike Castronovo, owner of Studio B Digital Recording, 6812 Harrison Ave., asked board members to consider a variance option that would allow home businesses to hire employees.
The county’s home occupation ordinance states, “No person, other than a resident of the dwelling, shall be employed in the conduct of a home occupation,” but Castronovo thinks he has a better idea.
“With our current economic downturn and our high unemployment rate in Winnebago County, I am proposing that a variance option be created to allow home occupation businesses to have a limited number of employees,” he said, suggesting such requests go through the county’s typical zoning channels.
According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey, he said, 3,613 people work from home in Winnebago County.
“Of that number, there could easily be close to 1,000 home occupation businesses,” Castronovo added. “Imagine if only a third of them wanted to hire one person legally—333 jobs would be created. How would the county like to see a new company come up and hire over 300 people? All you have to do is give home business owners an opportunity.”
Castronovo described the variance option as “simple, easy job creation and business growth,” and referenced a Sycamore ambulance service that started out of a home, but was allowed a few employees. The ambulance company, Castronovo indicated, now runs six stations and employs more than 100 people.
“This is the kind of growth we need in Winnebago County,” he concluded. “I hope you agree and will act quickly.”
Castronovo’s suggestion was referred to the Zoning Committee for consideration.
The Winnebago High School girls’ cross country team was recognized for winning its fifth consecutive state championship.
Frank Gambino (R-14) and Paul Gorski (D-5) were absent.
From the November 18-24, 2009 issue
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