Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Local

IDOTting the I’s and crossing the T’s

County has to wait for state agency to sign off on land transfer for new jail

This artist rendering shows a view from Jefferson Street looking north of the proposed Ogle County Jail in downtown Oregon. Though the county and city have agreed to the transfer of the 100 block of South Sixth Street, the transfer won’t be official until IDOT gives it the nod, and that could take several weeks.
This artist rendering shows a view from Jefferson Street looking north of the proposed Ogle County Jail in downtown Oregon. Though the county and city have agreed to the transfer of the 100 block of South Sixth Street, the transfer won’t be official until IDOT gives it the nod, and that could take several weeks.

OREGON – The transfer of the 100 block of South Sixth Street from the city to the county will not become final for at least several weeks.

The Ogle County Board and the Oregon City Council approved an intergovernmental agency agreement Dec. 21 that transfers jurisdiction over the block from the city to the county, which means the county board can move forward with its plans to close the block and connect a proposed new jail to the existing judicial center across the street.

The transfer won’t be official, though, until the Illinois Department of Transportation gives it the nod, and it will be several weeks after they receive the paperwork before IDOT officials make their decision, county engineer Jeremy Ciesel said.

According to state law, IDOT must approve all jurisdictional transfers of streets.

“They told me it would be at least 3 weeks, and they said it could be longer,” Ciesel said Tuesday.

Optimistically, that puts the decision into February.

Preliminary plans call for breaking ground on the new 180-bed jail, estimated to cost $28 million, in the fall.

Now that the intergovernmental agency agreement is approved, the council must pass an ordinance and the county board must adopt a resolution approving the transfer. Those approvals, along with other documents, must then be sent to IDOT.

The council could vote as early as Jan. 9; the board is scheduled to meet Jan. 16.

As part of the intergovernmental agreement, the county will pay for street improvements near the courthouse, judicial center, and new jail, including repaving Jefferson Street from Fourth to Sixth Street, Fifth Street from Washington to Jefferson, and Sixth Street south to Madison, and replacing curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in those blocks.

The county also will pay to reroute sewer and water mains affected by the street closure, and agreed to keep the driveway open for public access from Sixth Street into the shopping center at 511 Washington St.

The total cost for those projects is estimated at $600,000.

In November, the board hired Chicago architects HOK Inc. to design the new 70,000-square-foot jail, which will have a connecting link to the existing judicial center.

Sheriff Brian VanVickle is pleased the city and county reached an agreement. 

“The current jail is getting expensive to operate,” VanVickle said Tuesday. “I’m glad to be able to move forward with a facility that will better serve our needs.”

Loading more