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Noise concerns bring 4 to Henry County Board

Noise concerns bring 4 to Henry County Board

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Henry County Courthouse, Cambridge, Illinois

CAMBRIDGE — Four people from the Coal Valley area participated in the Henry County Board's teleconference meeting Thursday to request assistance with a motocross track noise issue.

Keith Johnson noted the Coal Valley Village Board had a first reading on an ordinance July 17.

"We hope that the county's sound ordinances will be used to protect us," he said.

Kelley Sandusky said her 150-year-old house was at the foot of the hill from the motocross track, but the track is very loud.

"Where we live it is God's country," she said. "This is agricultural ground. It doesn't get any better than this. (The track is) not why we live here."

When the four were finished speaking, board chairman Marshall Jones asked Johnson to supply him with a list of the measures he's taken to date.

In other business, the board voted 14-6 to approve a $210,535 bid for a new parking lot outside the jail.

In a discussion before the vote, board member Dwayne Anderson said he felt approving the Valley Construction bid would send the wrong signal to taxpayers at this time.

"The sheriff's confiscated cars might be placed by the dog pound until we get on solid footing," he said. "The perception, the timing of capital expenditures is so important."

"It's not like this was not planned," member Jill Darin said. "The money was set aside and budgeted for this."

Board member Roger Gradert said the timing was good to help some of the people looking for work, including the highway department. He noted the issue goes back to the conflict the county had with the Village of Cambridge over College Square Park, and that the county had planned to put a parking lot there.

"This is a situation we've been debating at least 15 years," he said.

Board member Kathy Nelson talked of two business owners who told her taxes are a big burden to them. She noted the county collected over $100,000 more in June property taxes but wondered how many people will have trouble paying their September installments.

"We need to really take a good hard look at this before moving forward," she said.

Deterioration of the present parking lot was addressed by Mat Schnepple, director of the Office of Emergency Management for Henry County. He said an area within 15 feet of the base of the stairs to the jail was in the worst condition, and everyone that came to the jail to post bond for someone would encounter it.

"It doesn't make sense to put asphalt over a parking lot that won't drain," he said. The contracted work includes drainage.

Voting no were Ned Richardson, Ray Elliott, Nelson, Bill Preston, James Thompson and Anderson.

A bridge over Burlington Northern railroad line southwest of Galva will be rebuilt. The board voted 20-2 to approve a supplemental agreement with Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental to study what type of bridge should be built. The bridge has been out since 2012 and on multiple occasions when ethanol trains come to Galva, it blocks all the crossings for well over an hour. The county and the township are each paying for 1.6% of the $64,000 cost, the Illinois Department of Transportation is paying 76% and the railroad is picking up the rest.

The board also approved $1,500 in hazard pay to each of 73 employees. The COVID-19 hazard pay will go to employees including custodians, maintenance workers, Office of Emergency Management staff, the kitchen manager, bailiffs and jailers.



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