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Board may approve new jail design Sept. 25

Kim Gouker
Kim Gouker

The Ogle County Board will meet a week later than scheduled next month to allow time to approve the final design plan for the new jail.

Board chairman Kim Gouker said Aug. 21 that the next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25, rather than Sept. 18, to ensure that the board can vote on the design as soon as possible to keep the project on schedule.

Long Range Planning Committee Chairman Don Griffin said the design will be finalized sooner than expected and has been altered to be less costly than the $26.7 million projected last month.

Plans call for construction to begin next April on the jail, which will be located on east half of the 100 block of South Sixth Street across from the county’s judicial center.

For security purposes, the two buildings will be connected by a large sally port across what is now Sixth Street, which will be closed.

In a related matter, Gouker told the board that the purchase is final of the Williams & McCarthy law office at 607 W. Washington.

The board voted on March 20 to buy the former residence, which is adjacent to the new jail site, at a cost not to exceed $167,000.

According the county records, the board purchased the property for $60,000.

Gouker said in March that the property was earmarked for purchase in the county’s 50-year plan, approved several years ago.

The plan calls for buying the property adjacent to the courthouse and judicial center when it goes on the market.

Gouker said attorney Kim Krahenbuhl will maintain his office there until he retires.

In a zoning matter last week, the board rescinded a controversial special use permit granted more than two years ago.

The request came from Mike Stukenberg, Forreston, and Steve and Kevin Moring, also of Forreston, who asked for the special use permit to allow a Class 2 Motor Carrier Facility on property zoned for agricultural use.

The county board approved the request in May of 2016.

At the time of the request, the property, at 11123 W. Ill. 72 just east of Forreston, was owned by Stukenberg and was being purchased by STKE LLC, a company owned by the Morings.

STKE LLC had planned to store and wash semis and dumpsters on the property, which is less than a mile east of Forreston.

In an effort to stop the project, Walter Paul, who lives across the highway, and his daughter and son-in-law Linette and Curtis DeHaven filed a lawsuit against STKE LLC and Ogle County.

The lawsuit claimed that the special use applicants failed to meet the standards set forth in the county zoning ordinance.

The Ogle County Judge John Redington dismissed the case, and Paul and the DeHavens then appealed that decision.

The appellate court reversed Redington’s decision and ruled the case could proceed in circuit court. 

State’s Attorney Eric Morrow said rescinding the special use ends the lawsuit.

Paul, the DeHavens, and other nearby property owners objected because of environmental issues.