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Local

Morris hopes to lay foundation for development in 2016

Kopczick: Intergovernmental agreement for Brisbin Road corridor important

MORRIS – Many of the top priorities for the city of Morris in 2016 aren’t just based on preparation in 2015.

They were years in the making.

According to Mayor Richard Kopczick, the biggest priority for the city is to reach an intergovernmental agreement with the village of Minooka and Grundy County for the redevelopment of Brisbin Road north of Interstate 80 as an industrial corridor.

County officials have estimated reconstruction of the 2.5-mile strip of roadway as an 80,000-pound truck route at a cost of $8 million. The road is not suitable for semitrailers as is.

The Brisbin Road interchange, completed in 2012, was the first big step for development, but an agreement needs to be in place regarding the roadway so all entities involved can receive proper shares of the revenue expected from the economic boost. The county will need to be reimbursed by developers for redesign and construction of the roadway.

“It’s very important to get the agreement done,” Grundy Economic Development Council CEO Nancy Norton Ammer said. “With the economy bouncing back, it’s an extremely competitive time for new project sites.”

The next top priority for Morris, Kopczick said, is beginning work on the east side sewage treatment facility so Costco can open its meatpacking plant in summer 2017.

“This is a tremendous positive for the community,” Kopczick said. “Not just in the treatment capabilities, but also the jobs and tax base it will provide through Costco’s development.”

The treatment facility is being designed to handle waste from an additional 1,500 to 2,000 homes on top of Costco’s full build-out maximum of 400,000 gallons a day.

“It’s a huge investment by Costco, with the taxes that will go into our schools, fire protection and police departments,” Norton Ammer said. “Not to mention, in excess of 100 really good jobs.”

The city’s third-biggest priority is completing work on an emergency generator project that will keep water flowing through city pipes in prolonged electrical outages, Kopczick said.

The purchase and installation of four stationary generators and one portable generator, recently approved at a cost of $485,000, will keep water flowing through faucets. It also will prevent evacuation of Morris Hospital and other public buildings because without water, they become a fire suppression risk.

The Morris City Council will meet Jan. 4 to get started on the new year.

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CITY OF MORRIS 2016 PRIORITIES

1. Finalize intergovernmental agreement with Minooka and Grundy County to reconstruct Brisbin Road north of Interstate 80 as an industrial corridor.

2. Upgrade east side sewage treatment plant to accommodate Costco meatpacking plant and future residential development.

3. Complete emergency generator project in order to keep water flowing and maintain safety in severe power outage events.

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