McHenry moves ahead on street resurfacing, other projects

McHENRY – The city of McHenry is moving ahead with several projects on its to-do list, including $400,000 worth of street resurfacing, the purchase of new accounting software and replacing the roof at the south wastewater treatment plant.

The McHenry City Council approved the next steps for all of these projects at its meeting Monday evening.

The council signed off on the streets to be included in this summer's street resurfacing program. The allocation of $400,000 is the city's first street program in three years.

About 1.3 miles of city roads ranked as having a "poor" condition are set to be repaved, depending on what the bids say, according to council documents.

The streets include Kane Avenue from Route 31 to its western dead end, Bull Valley Road from Green Street to Bally Road, Bally Road from Bull Valley Road to its north end, Prairie Street from Bally Road to its western dead end, and Biscayne Drive from Green Street to Amberwood Place.

Crescent Avenue from John Street to Country Club Drive will be resurfaced if the construction costs come in low enough to accommodate it.

The council also approved the purchase of a stump grinder for just under $30,000 for the Public Works Department, which will be used to remove the more than 800 trees affected by the emerald ash borer beetle as well as another 100 or so trees that are removed each year for miscellaneous reasons.

The city currently sub-contracts the stump grinding or rents a stump grinder, but with the high number of trees set to be removed, it made more sense to purchase the equipment, Public Works Director Jon Schmitt said.

The McHenry City Council will review the bids in June with work to start shortly after that, Schmitt said.

The council also hired Studio 222 Architects to prepare the design and related bid documents for $116,000 worth of work at the city's south wastewater treatment plant.

The plan is to replace deteriorating bricks at two of the facilities' buildings, as well as the metal roof and metal on the south side of the maintenance and storage building. Some service doors and frames will also be replaced.

Studio 222 Architects was hired last year to oversee the replacement of the roof and shop furnaces at the public works facility last year, City Administrator Derik Morefield said.

Because the firm did a good job, staff recommended hiring them again without going through the qualifications process, he said.

The council also approved the purchase of new finance and utility billing software to replace the current software, which the finance department has used since it was installed in 1999.

The software is no longer being updated and support is difficult to obtain, Finance Director Carolyn Lynch said in a memo to council.

"It's time," Morefield said. "It's creating inefficiencies."

The new software will cost just under $147,000 plus up to $29,500 in travel expenses. It will be used by the finance department for payroll and other internal functions, for utility billing and for the adjudication court's case management.

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