ADMINISTRATOR BODEN NOT RETAINED

The contract of City Administrator Gary Boden was not renewed, and effectively ended his tenure with Marengo, which began in 2012. The announcement came May 19, although his contract had expired Apr. 24, coinciding with the change and swearing-in ceremony of the new city council, under new Mayor John Koziol.

The Apr. 24 city council meeting included an executive session, convened by Koziol, to review the retention of Boden.

“To my understanding, I am still the assistant city administrator, and conducting my own duties in that capacity,” Josh Blakemore said, after the May 22 city council session.

Boden had served as Marengo’s City administrator since 2012, and the Rockford-area native had previously held similar job titles with the city of Whitewater, WI, and Clinton, IA. He also served as the assistant city administrator for DeKalb.

Boden was not available for comment.

FALL 2017 TARGET COMPLETION FOR WATER MAIN WORK

Infrastructure improvements will be taking place during the summer to replace water mains along Grant Highway (Route 20) and State Street, from 2nd to 8th avenues. The matter was approved by the council, and work begun last month. The total estimated cost of the project has been tabbed at $1.782 million, with $107,000 carved out for the engineering studies.

“The engineering is Phase I, and it’s a water main replacement, which is pretty straight-forward,” said Josh Blakemore, Marengo’s assistant city administrator. “It’s set for a fall 2017 finish, but as for a hard timeline of work, that will be formed in the near future. There are easements and right-ofways to consider for the project.”

The instances of recent water main breaks and transit lines were discussed at the Apr. 24 council session, with requests for cost estimates from the village engineering firm on the work for State Street, also the oldest lines remaining in the municipality. McHenry-based H.R. Green is preparing the engineering studies.

ROUTE 23/I-90 INTERCHANGE MOVING FORWARD

The $32 million Route 23/ I-90 tollway interchange project is moving ahead, with tollway bridge replacement expected this summer, and plans for city officials to appear at the McHenry County Board’s transportation committee to glean updates on progress and timelines. Traffic on Route 23 is down to a single-lane, as the east side of the overpass bridge is removed.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Illinois Tollway Authority have design plans to expand the bridges length and width, while adding deeper shoulder pull-offs. A $9 million cost for the bridge work has been cited. Improvements for Route 23 will be dovetailed into the latter stages next year, when completion is expected.

A public meeting is also being arranged for feedback and input on the project, from the community and initial partners in the effort. The McHenry County Board had listed the project as “needed,” as it was a major entry point to the county, and could translate into an economic boost to the area in revenue and jobs.

FARMERS MARKET RETURNS TO CITY ON SATURDAYS

In a unanimous vote during its May 22 regular meeting, the Marengo City Council approved a community initiative to return the Saturday Farmer’s Market to use the municipal parking lot. The action is contingent upon the Marengo Action Committee, an ad hoc group of residents, obtaining business insurance, health department permits, and waste disposal arrangements for the open-air event.

Tentative Sat. dates slated for the market have been framed for June 10 through Sept. 30. The request, forwarded to the city, indicated that nearly 25 vendors were interested in participating with organizers to join the event.

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