Three railroad projects were approved by the Rochelle City Council at last nights meeting. The first project is an extension of the Rochelle Industrial Rail across Steward Road. This will provide rail service to Coated Sand Solutions which is currently under construction on the east side of Steward Road. This project is estimated at 1.2 million dollars and includes approximately 500 feet of track and a signalized crossing on Steward Road which will be funded through an Economic Development Administration grant. The council approved the bid from Swanson Contracting in the amount of $834,367.42. Construction is expected to begin in August and be completed in October.
The second project approved is for increased capacity for rail car storage south of I-88, running north-south along the existing city rail track. It is estimated at 2.2 million dollars, and includes about 1.5 miles of track which will enhance switching capacity and the ability to handle unit trains in the future. The improvements will be funded through an Illinois Department of Transportation Bureau of Railroads grant. Swanson Contracting won the bid in the amount of $1,462,889.50. the construction is expected to begin in August and completed in December of this year.
Rail car volumes on the Rochelle Industrial Rail are expected to increase significantly in the future due to the new Coated Sand Solutions and Nippon Sharyo facilities. So, the third project approved includes about 3000 feet of track and will increase the storage capacity of the yard from 10 to 60 rail cars. The project is estimated at $750,000. The improvements will be funded through future rail revenue via agreements between the City, TLC/Ryder and Coated Sand Solutions. R and R Contracting was awarded the bid in the amount of $508,442.14. Construction is to begin in August and completed in December.
Also last night, Follett Corporation, a distributor of educations materials with annual sales of $2.7 billion, will be locating in the RMU Technology Center. The council approved allowing them the use of 640 square feet. The license agreement will provide monthly revenue of $23,680 which will be $284,160 annually for a term of five years.
The most discussed item last night was on a proposal to increase the speed limit on 20th street from 30 miles per hour to 40. A study was conducted that indicated the majority of traffic on the road now travel at just over 40 miles per hour. After much discussion, the council approved on a 4-3 vote to increase the speed limit on 20th street to 40. Councilmen Rice and McDermott and Mayor Olsen voted no.
Also last night, an increase in Peddlers Permits for the cost of the related fingerprinting was approved. The cost will be $50.
Rochelle Community Hospital received an amendment to their original loan agreement. This will enable the Hospital to lower the interest rate and change the payment schedule. This doesn’t affect the city of Rochelle and will be a good thing for the Hospital.
And the Council approved a 30 minute time limit on one parking space on Cherry Avenue. The space closest to Main Street on the south side of Cherry will be a 30 minute restricted space.