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Minutes of the DeKalb County Highway Committee
February 7, 2013
6 p.m.



A meeting of the Highway Committee of the DeKalb County Board was held on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:00pm in the Conference Room of the DeKalb County Highway Department, DeKalb, Illinois.


Chairman Gudmunson called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. Committee members present were Mr. Frieders, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Jones, Mr. O’Barski and Vice Chair Pietrowski. Others present were Mr. Nathan Schwartz, County Engineer, Wayne Davey, Support Services Manager and James Quinn, Operations Manager.




Motion made by Mr. Johnson and seconded by Mr. O’Barski to approve the minutes of the regular January 3, 2013 meeting. The motion to approve the minutes carried unanimously.




Motion made by Mr. O’Barski and seconded by Mr. Frieders to approve the agenda as presented. Discussion followed concerning the addition of several items to the agenda. After discussion it was determined the County Engineer could appropriately cover the suggested items under his comments. The motion passed unanimously to approve the agenda as presented.






Mr. Schwartz explained to the Committee that the County held a bid letting on February 7, 2013 at 10:00am for the purpose of accepting bids for the General County Letting. This letting sets the price for maintenance materials used throughout the year by the County as well as all 19 Road Districts. The County awards all bids submitted with the exception of the liquid calcium chloride which is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications. Sicalco, LTD from Hinsdale, Illinois was the only bidder for the calcium chloride product. Once the bids have been approved and if Road Districts are using MFT funds, a calculation is made so that material being purchased and hauled from the approved pit will be the lowest cost on the road. The Committee inquired if all product is approved by the State of Illinois prior to purchase. Mr. Schwartz stated that all material is approved by IDOT prior to the aggregate companies furnishing it to the Road Districts. The specifications include a certain range that must be met.


That is why aggregate is a different color from one pit to another. Mr. Schwartz recommended approval of the resolution. A motion was made by Vice Chair Pietrowski and seconded by Mr. Jones to forward the resolution to the full Board recommending approval. The motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Schwartz informed the Committee that the State in is the final stages to upgrade the railroad crossing on Genoa Road just north of Cherry Valley Road. This crossing currently only has lights and these will be upgraded as well as have crossing gates installed. These safety projects are funded by the Federal Government and selected by the State on a wide set of factors, to include but not limited to, number of trains, number of vehicles, speed and past accident/fatality information. The estimated cost of this upgrade is $191,655 and the project will be the responsibility of the State of Illinois. The County is responsible to grant permission for the work to be preformed within its right-of-way only. No costs for this project will be assigned to DeKalb County.


The railroad will be responsible for the maintenance of the lights and gates at the crossing and they bear no upfront cost as well. Mr. Schwartz recommended approval of this resolution. A motion was made by Mr. O’Barski and seconded by Mr. Jones to forward the resolution to the full Board recommending approval. The motion passed unanimously.



The County opened bids for the completion of one snow plow truck that the cab and chassis was approved during last month’s County Board meeting. Two bids were received, one from Monroe and one from Bonnell and they were very competitive. Monroe Truck Sales from Monroe, Wisconsin submitted the low bid. Monroe has received the majority of these bids in the past and the County has been satisfied with their performance. The County does spec a Bonnell push frame and plow lift as well as a Bonnell reversible plow. This keeps equipment similar and interchangeable. Although Monroe will receive the award both Companies will play a part in the building of this plow truck. Mr. Schwartz recommended approval of the award. A motion was made by Vice Chair Pietrowski and seconded by Mr. Johnson to forward the resolution to the full Board recommending approval. The motion passed unanimously.



The 2012 Annual Report was provided to the Committee for their information. The report covered a bit of history of the county highway system and provided a snapshot of the day to day operations of the Highway Department. Projects completed during 2012 were highlighted with a brief historical summary on when the road/bridge was last improved. Information was also provided into planned projects for the next three years. Mr. Schwartz suggested this report be an annual one for the Committee and suggested it be presented to the full County Board as well. The Committee, by consensus, agreed that was a good idea.



Chairman Gudmunson had no comments at this time.




Mr. Schwartz reviewed the Transportation Improvement Progress Report for the month of January with the Committee. Those projects not commented on during the annual report presentation were: The Bethany Road Bridge project is 80% complete with the road open. The approaches will be overlaid in the spring when the hot-mix plants are open. The preliminary engineering for the Glidden Road shoulders from Route 64 to Route 72 is 50% completed. The Keslinger Road Bridge legal case is back before the Judge on February 21 for discovery status. Malta Road from Old State Road to Route 72 has been pushed up a year by the State.


Originally scheduled for 2014, the State has additional funding available for 2013 and will program this project for this year.


During our March Committee meeting Mr. Schwartz will present a Highway Finance tutorial that will walk Committee members through how the Highway Department is financed and how projects get programmed and paid for utilizing the various funding streams available to the County.


The Committee requested some information on our current status of the Operators 150 Union Contract. Mr. Schwartz stated the current contract is a two year contract with a wage re-opener during the second year of the contract. We are currently in the second year of that 150 contract and the Union has requested a wage re-opener by submitting a letter to the former County Board Chairman. As of today, no date has been set to begin negotiations. The Committee wanted to know if they would get to look at the 150 agreement before it goes to the full County Board. Mr. Schwartz stated that has been the practice in the past. A question was asked how long the negotiations take and no firm answer was given. When negotiating a new contract, this process takes months to complete. With just a wage opener it should take less time, but no one present tonight knows for sure.


Mr. Schwartz offered to provide a tour of the Highway Facility after the adjournment of tonight’s meeting if anyone was interested.




Vice Chair Pietrowski stated he received comments about the Bethany Road Bridge concerning the County’s participation in the project. Mr. Schwartz explained the work was completed using contracted forces and the County provided the construction engineering services. These services would ensure that the structure was being built to the required specifications.


Vice Chair Pietrowski also inquired if the two no passing zones on Plank Road by the new school could be combined into one zone. Mr. Schwartz briefly explained the requirements for a zone and stated the County would look at that area and report back to the Committee.


The Committee was interested in forming a task force to look into the possibility of extending the metro rail out to DeKalb County. The process is a lengthy one to move anything forward in this direction and the Committee would like to be proactive on this issue.


The County Engineer will provide some points of contact of those in the Community that might already be working along these lines.




Chairman Gudmunson asked if there was anything further that needed to be discussed and hearing none asked for a motion to adjourn. A motion was made by Mr. Johnson and seconded by Mr. O’Barski to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the February 7, 2013 meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.


Respectfully Submitted,



John Gudmunson