MARENGO – The area where Interstate 90 and Route 23 intersect now belongs to Marengo after the City Council recently annexed another 143 acres into its territory.
The council approved, 8-1, on Monday a 143-acre agreement that officially extends Marengo's borders to encompass the prized Route 23 intersection.
City officials already started initial planning on developing an interchange at I-90 and Route 23 after successfully reaching the area just north of I-90 last month by annexing nearly 1,600 acres.
"We passed a landmark last night, but we have many, many landmarks in front of us," City Manager Gary Boden said.
Officials have been negotiating and executing annexation agreements with property owners south and west of the city's borders all year in their quest to reach I-90 and formally negotiate with the Illinois Tollway Authority on financing an interchange that officials hope will spur development in the area.
The initial planning work that began in June requires the city to develop conceptual interchange designs by the fall and secure commitments from area stakeholders interested in financing the project estimated to cost roughly $60 million total.
The 143-acre agreement, coupled with previous annexations, adds nearly 3 square miles of mostly undeveloped farmland to Marengo and increases the city's population by 10 people, Boden said.
The annexation deals have all cut through Riley Township and have angered Riley officials, who have been concerned that the city has disregarded proper planning with the expansion process.
The city administration will present the council with another deal that would annex 156 acres just south of I-90 and Route 23 during a meeting Aug. 12.
City officials also will look to annex between 500 and 1,000 acres scattered throughout the city's southern and western planning area now that the goal to reach the interstate has been achieved, Boden said.