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Minutes of the DeKalb County Highway Committee
January 3, 2013
6 pm.




A meeting of the Highway Committee of the DeKalb County Board was held on Thursday, January 3, 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. Deverell, Mr. Johnson, 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. O’Barski and seconded by Vice Chair Pietrowski to approve the minutes of the regular December 18, 2012 meeting. The motion to approve the minutes carried unanimously.




Motion made by Mr. Deverell and seconded by Mr. Johnson to approve the agenda as presented. The motion passed unanimously.







Mr. Schwartz explained to the Committee that the County has been approved to use Highway Bridge Program Funds to cover 80% of the $740,000 cost of this bridge project. In order to secure that funding the Illinois Department of Transportation requires an agreement be executed between the State and the County. This resolution accomplished that requirement. The local share for this project is estimated to be $36,000.00 and will be shared by two Road Districts and the County. Mr. Schwartz recommended this resolution be forwarded to the full Board for approval. Committee members inquired how long this bridge will last once the deck is replaced. Mr. Schwartz explained all bridges are built to last a minimum of 50 years. However, sometime problems arise that can not be detected as the project is constructed that might shorten the life expectancy of a structure. With better testing methods of materials used in construction projects these days the County is hopeful this completed project will last longer than 50 years. A motion was made by Mr. O’Barski and seconded by Mr. Johnson to forward the resolution to the full Board recommending approval.


The motion passed unanimously.



Mr. Schwartz informed the Committee that bids were taken for the replacement of one of the Department’s snow plow trucks. Three bids were received and the low bid meeting specifications was submitted by Chicago International Trucks in the amount of $63,550. This price includes a trade-in of one 2000 Freightliner. This is the first step in this process and this bid is only for the cab and chassis. The next step will be to award for the plow, box, wing, and spreader. The overall cost of a plow truck is approximately $150,000 to $160,000. The Department will also purchase several warranties to save the County repair costs when the factory warranties expire. Mr. Schwartz explained about a third of our fleet were Internationals and for the most part the County has been satisfied with their performance. The County Engineer recommended approval of the award to Chicago International. A motion was made by Vice Chair Pietrowski and seconded by Mr. O’Barski to forward the resolution to the full Board recommending approval.


The motion passed unanimously.



Each year the County programs Motor Fuel Tax funds to cover a portion of the Maintainer’s salary and to purchase new equipment for the Department. In order for the State of Illinois to authorize the obligation of these funds the County Board must approve the expenditure. This year the Department budgeted $555,500 of MFT funds for salaries and $273,700 for equipment replacement. This resolution satisfies the State of Illinois’ requirement. Chairman Gudmunson stated his concern that the County is spending MFT funds for salary and not for the maintenance and upkeep of the County’s roadways and for the deficit being shown for this budget.


The question was asked if these funds were not taken from Motor Fuel Tax allotment for salaries where would the funds come from to make up that loss. Chairman Gudmunson stated labor could be looked at and schedules reduced to help off set the high cost of labor when the Highway Department has down time due to weather or other events. Mr. Schwartz stated since he has taken over as County Engineer he has ensured the crews are working productively and accomplishing tasks that need to be done to properly maintain the County’s road system. 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 with four yes votes and one no vote from Chairman Gudmunson.



Mr. Schwartz informed the Committee that he had been requested by a County Board Member to see if a portion of Exchange Street could be honorary named for Ray Bockman who recently retired on November 30, 2012 after 32 yeas of service as

County Administrator. The portion of road being considered is that portion going east from Illinois Route 23 between the Legislation Center and the Public Safety building. This road belongs to the County and not the City of Sycamore and therefore the County would have the right to rename it if the County Board felt it appropriate to do so. Committee members asked if this had ever been done in the past and Mr. Schwartz stated that to his knowledge it had not and this would be the first time. Members felt that several other elected and appointed officials had served the County just as admirably in the past and felt the County should not set a precedent for honorary naming streets or roads in the County. A motion was made by Mr. Johnson and seconded by Mr. O’Barski to favorably consider the honorary naming of Exchange Street the Ray Bockman Street. The motion failed with three no votes, (Chairman Gudmunson, Vice Chair Pietrowski and Mr. Deverell) and two yes votes (Mr. Johnson and Mr. O’Barski).



Chairman Gudmunson stated he heard lots of positive feed back concerning the highway tour. He thanked those members for attending that meeting.




Mr. Schwartz reviewed the Transportation Improvement Progress Report for the month of December with the Committee. Those projects highlighted were the Bethany Road Bridge project-construction stands at 4% complete; the old beams are ready to be removed and the new ones set. The bridge will be re-opened to traffic on approximately January 19, 2013. The Five Points Road bridge – plans are ready for IDOT review and approval and this project is scheduled for a June letting. Glidden Road shoulders from Rich Road to Illinois Route 64 have been surveyed and ready for design. The agreement for Federal Funds was approved for the Glidden Road Shoulders from Illinois Route 64 to Illinois Route 72 and McClure Engineering has started that project. The Keslinger Road Bridge will be back in court on February 21, 2013 for discovery. Waterman Road right-of-way plats are prepared and now ready for the County to begin to acquire any additional right-of-way required, either by rededication or purchase. Negotiations will begin shortly.

The County Engineer informed the Committee that the new scanner will arrive on Friday. This scanner will be used to convert all of our paper file/plans to digital files and allow for off site storage as back-up. Once this information is converted research can be conducted from a staff member’s desk without having to manually search paper files for the needed information. This machine will be paid for in part through an IEMA grant that Denny Miller’s Emergency Services & Disaster Agency will apply for.


With the arrival of the new scanner the County will begin the process of converting old paper files. The County Engineer inquired of the Committee if they felt this needed to be accomplished sooner rather than later. A quote of $10,000 was provided to have a local Company from Sycamore, Fusion Tools, to come and scan all files in a short period of time, approximately 2-3 months. If the County does this task with its own staff, this process could take up to a year to complete. The County Engineer was looking for guidance from the Committee on how they felt he should proceed. The Committee by conscientious felt that County staff could perform this task and that there was no sense of urgency to complete this project in a short time frame.


Mr. Schwartz stated the Department was storing three pieces of construction equipment that would in all likelihood never be utilized again. This equipment was used when the County performed its own seal coat operations. The equipment is old, outdated, in poor repair and inefficient. The County Engineer plans on scrapping the equipment if the Committee has no objections. The County will offer the equipment to Townships within the County before it is disposed of to see if any local government might be interested in purchasing the equipment. The Committee had no objections to this proposal.




Mr. O’Barski requested the County Engineer provide the Committee with a list of areas that could be looked at to help reduce the current deficit in the highway Department’s budgets. Chairman Gudmunson requested this item be placed on February’s agenda.




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. O’Barski and seconded by Mr. Johnson to adjourn. The motion passed unanimously and the January 3, 2013 meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm.


Respectfully Submitted,




John Gudmunson