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Local

Committee aims to retain Rick Porter

MORRIS – A Grundy County Board committee approved 6-0 to send to the full board a conflict of interest waiver so Rick Porter can be retained to work on an intergovernmental agreement for Brisbin Road pre-annexation efforts.

“Brisbin Road is relatively uncomplicated to look at but it isn’t found in textbooks or case law,” assistant state’s attorney Perry Rudman told the County Board’s Finance Committee during a meeting Monday night. “We need an expert to look over the agreement so we don’t overlook revenue that should come our way.”

The intergovernmental agreement, along with a memorandum of understanding, will need to be passed by all governmental entities involved to create a legal way for the county to recapture the cost of the road, which will service the municipalities along each side of the road.

The 1,900 acres that line the road belong to two different municipalities: The east side is Minooka, the west side Morris.

County Board Chairman David Welter said the county can’t move forward and get pricing without the conflict of interest waiver signed. Porter works with the law firm of Hinshaw and Culbertson.

“Rick has worked with us on projects like the windmills, and he has worked with the city, as well,” Welter said. “The waiver states that we know he has done work for both Grundy County and Morris.”

Morris Mayor Dick Kopczick said Monday it comes down to a matter of trust.

“He has worked for us on the community landfill and other projects,” Kopczick said. “This waiver is the county stating they are aware he has worked with us and they trust him, and then if we agree to sign the waiver it will be Morris saying he has worked for us and we trust him to work for the county in this agreement.”

Kopczick said the waiver is set to go in front of the city’s Finance Committee on Friday and on the council’s agenda next Monday.

Rudman said he feels better knowing that someone knowledgable about intergovernmental agreements will be working on the project.

Welter told the Finance Committee that the talks came together pretty quickly at the end of last week and he’d like to place the conflict of interest waiver on the agenda for the next full County Board meeting.

“His fee schedule will be the next step,” Welter said. “This allows us to pass the first step and go into those discussions.”

Welter said when Morris and Grundy County both approve the waiver he will sit down with Porter to discuss fees and next steps for the annexation agreement.

Finance chairman John Galloway absent from Monday’s meeting.

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