Marengo will receive approximately $27 million in state dollars to help develop the area around the Interstate 90 and Route 23 intersections into an industrial center and is expected to begin funding soon.
The money will be used to build infrastructure in the area, that is, utility work that will allow companies to set up shops in the area, the city says. This work would include water and sewage, electricity, plumbing and flooring.
Deputy City Manager Nick Radcliffe said the funds would be paid in installments either monthly or quarterly, but it is not yet known what each installment will be. However, the city will be able to continue its work and reimburse itself once the government money comes in.
“We couldn’t do this without the state,” Radcliffe said. “We are grateful to them.”
As the state progresses through procedures, the Marengo City Council signed a deal with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity earlier this month in hopes the city will have direction by the end of this week. Will see what it takes to start funding, Radcliffe said.
Radcliffe said the city is moving forward in resolving this issue with Wisconsin-based McMahon Engineering to estimate what it will cost to build the infrastructure needed to lay the foundation for businesses thriving in the region. .
Radcliffe said utility functions like water and sewerage would be the top priority. Among other things, a water tower and a well must be built for this purpose.
“That’s our main priority for this project,” Radcliffe said, “to bring water and sanitation services to market.”
Opened in 2019, the Route 23 interchange with I-90 is the first and still only access road from the Interstate into McHenry County.
As a result, the area is a high priority for local authorities in Marengo and across the county who hope the area can develop into an industrial hub. Officials have also raised the possibility that it could house commercial and retail stores, as well as hotels or residential buildings.
To fuel this growth, Marengo was recently added to the county’s corporate sector, which currently includes Harvard and Woodstock, offering benefits to companies opening in the area.
City officials have previously said that if the city receives money from the state this year, business in the area could pick up over the next two or three years.
Many have compared the area to Huntley, which is east of Marengo and also has an Interstate 90 connection. This compound is in Kane County.
Huntley has approved a variety of manufacturing and industrial ventures, including a new Amazon facility near its interchange.
As Marengo takes steps to accelerate its business and growth, some concerns about staffing issues have surfaced. The city hired a new city manager earlier this year, only to let him go over the summer because “he didn’t have what we were looking for,” Mayor John Coziol said in August.
The city currently has an interim city manager who has said his priority is to “advance” the city’s development plans at the interchange.