MACOMB — McDonough County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer announced Thursday that he will nominate Chief Deputy Nick Petitgout to succeed Sheriff Rick VanBrooker. The announcement came at a meeting of the county board's road and bridge committee.
The county board would vote next Wednesday on whether to concur with Schwerer's appointment. Petitgout will run in November for a four-year term as sheriff. VanBrooker will retire from office on May 1.
The road and bridge committee was told by County Engineer Rick Walker that the county is in compliance with an Illinois Department of Transportation audit of motor fuel tax spending from 2011 through 2016. He said there was a meeting last month in Springfield to discuss statewide compliance audits.
"It's kind of a stumbling block for road commissioners to get their money," Walker said of current IDOT guidelines for spending motor fuel tax allocations.
Walker told the committee that wind farm designer Capital Power has indicated that 60 turbines will be placed on selected farmland in McDonough and Warren counties rather than the originally proposed 75. He said the turbines would be larger.
The county engineer said that Capital Power has yet to apply for renewal of its county site permit. A transportation plan is to be submitted requesting use of county roads to carry turbine construction materials.
Walker said most material traffic may travel the Tennessee Blacktop because of its proximity to local stone quarries, but that work is not expected to begin until next year. He added that planned improvements to the blacktop cannot be paid for with federal grants so road improvement funds from the county sales tax would be used. Any further improvements on the road would be paid for by Capital Power as it must file a plan to repair any local roads used in conjunction with its material hauling.
The committee voted to recommend approval next week of five resolutions for township and county aid in bridge culvert construction. Also recommended was the hiring of Hutchison Engineering for design work on the Sugar Creek Bridge on County Highway 9 west of Vermont, and for survey and design work on critical fractures on some local bridges.
Walker said that winter weight limits on county roads have been lifted, and that some surface grinding will be done on the road near Central Stone Quarry. He said a drainage survey would be done for New Salem Township on the main street in Adair. The county engineer said larger water pipes would be installed.

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