Marengo will receive approximately US$27 million to help develop the area around Interstate 90 and the Intersection of Route 23 into an industrial center and expects to begin receiving funds soon.
The money will go towards building infrastructure in the area, ie utility works, which will allow businesses to set up shop in the area, the physical city states. This work will include water, sewage, electricity, plumbing and paving.
The money will be disbursed in installments either monthly or quarterly, Nick Radcliffe, assistant city manager, said, but the amount of each installment is not yet known. However, the city will be able to move forward with its business and compensate itself once the state funds arrive.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without the state,” Radcliffe said. “We are grateful to them.”
With the grant coming through state operations, Marengo City Council signed an agreement with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity at its meeting earlier this month, hoping the city will receive guidance by the end of this week to see what needs to happen to start receiving the funds, Radcliffe said. .
While that is being sorted, Radcliffe said, the city is moving forward with Wisconsin-based McMahon Engineering to begin getting estimates on the cost of building the infrastructure needed to provide the foundation for businesses that will move to the area.
Radcliffe said utility work, such as water and sanitation, would be the most important priority. To this end, one of the first things to do is to install a water tower and a well.
“That’s our main priority for this project, getting water and sanitation services there,” Radcliffe said.
The intersection on Route 23 with I-90, which opened in 2019, is the first and still only road to enter McHenry County from the highway.
As a result, the area is a high priority for local officials, both in Marengo and across the county, who hope that the area will grow into an industrial hub. Officials also raised the possibility that it would host businesses and retail, as well as hotels or condominiums.
To help fuel this growth, Marengo was recently added to the District’s Enterprise District, which currently contains Harvard and Woodstock and provides benefits for businesses opening within the district.
City officials previously said that if the city can start receiving money from the state this year, business could spread to the area within the next two to three years.
Many have compared the area to Huntley, which is to the east of Marengo and has a cross-connection to Interstate 90 as well. This connection is located in Kane County.
Huntley, near the exchange, has agreed to a variety of industrial and industrial works, including the new Amazon facility.
As Marengo moves to boost its business and growth, some concerns have emerged about employment issues. Mayor John Kozyol said in August that the city brought in a new mayor earlier this year, only to let him go in the summer because he “didn’t have what we were looking for.”
The city currently has an interim city manager, who said his priority is to maintain the city’s plans for growth at the junction “moving forward.”