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Highway department to patch roads, save on energy costs

MORRIS – Grundy County Highway Department crews will patch and paint a number of Grundy County roads in upcoming weeks.

The county approved bids during Tuesday’s Grundy County Board meeting to complete the two projects. The patching project will only affect a handful of county roads, including sections of Braceville, Carbon Hill and Ridge roads.

“We’ve got some bad areas, so we’re going to take that out and put asphalt in,” Grundy County engineer Craig Cassem said Thursday.

The county agreed to pay AC Pavement Stripping $71,854 to complete the paint striping, and pay D Construction $97,355 to complete the patchwork. All money will come from the highway department fund.

Cassem said the county tries to repaint road stripes every three to four years.

“They fade after awhile so we’re re-striping them,” he said. “We’re not doing all of them, just some of the ones that need it.”

Also approved Tuesday by the full board was an agreement with Constellation NewEnergy that will save the highway department on its electricity bills.

On average, the department pays about $600 a month to keep the county’s more than 40 streetlights running.

The agreement with Constellation will not alter the energy supply for the lights, but it will eliminate many of the fees charged by ComEd, which will provide some savings, Grundy County Administrator Heidi Miller said.

With the new agreement, ComEd will keep its role as the pole service, meaning it will replace and maintain the county street lights.

“It’s going to save a little bit of money. I mean, it’s not tons of money, but it’s something,” Cassem said.

He estimated the county would save about $30 a month on electricity bills through Constellation’s program, but those savings could fluctuate between contracts, Cassem said.

The highway department’s agreement is in-line with the rest of the county.

Last month, the board approved a different agreement with Constellation to supply energy for all Grundy County facilities.

Miller pursued the agreement with Constellation because the county would see savings in the thousands.

“It’s a substantial savings from what we were paying,” she said.

Miller said it’s been about 10 years since the county entered into a competitive electricity supply contract like the one with Constellation and has subsequently missed out on some electricity bill savings.

“Since deregulation, there’s a lot of energy supply companies out there,” Miller said.

With the added suppliers, the county secured a much more competitive energy price.

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