County hears Country Club Lane, other updates 

Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger gave an update on a planned realignment of Country Club Lane in Waterloo during Monday’s meeting of the Monroe County Board.

Metzger said construction in the first phase of a project to extend Rogers Street and Country Club Lane will “optimistically” begin in the spring of 2024. 

Metzger explained there should be fewer delays since the project is not federally funded.

“If things move faster, we’ll move faster,” Metzger said, noting there is still some work to do before construction can begin.

Currently, there is “pick up” surveying being done to ensure the correct location of the future intersection. Once surveying is complete, a drainage study will be conducted followed by right-of-way acquisition and a subsequent environmental study. 

The project is a joint venture between Monroe County and the City of Waterloo which will eventually create a new intersection of Rogers Street with Country Club Lane, eliminating a series of 90 degree turns. 

Waterloo residents voiced safety concerns in 2021 about the turns, increased traffic to their subdivisions and the general condition of Country Club Lane.

The road is maintained by Monroe County but is the main route to the Remington Ridge and Country Club Hills subdivisions, which are within Waterloo city limits.

The goal of the realignment is to eliminate dangerous traffic conditions for the growing number of motorists who use the road. 

A future phase of the project will extend Rogers Street north to connect with Rose Lane in Waterloo and create a traffic signal at the intersection of Rose Lane and Route 3.

Another update the county board heard Monday was from U of I Extension Director Laquitsha Bejoile-Hayes. 

Hayes was on hand to introduce herself to commissioners and provide an overview of the programs and marketing efforts she has been working on since beginning her role in October.

Hayes is responsible for extension activity in Monroe, Madison and St. Clair counties. 

Commissioner Vicki Koerber noted there has been a lack of progress and funding from the latter counties. 

Hayes said the issue was one of her top priorities when accepting the position, and she has been working to increase the extension’s presence – particularly in St. Clair County – as a way to foster more participation in agricultural and educational interests in the region.   

At the beginning of the meeting, residents of the Grandview Terrace subdivision south of Waterloo sought an update for an issue they brought before the board several months ago.

The residents claimed Lenny Schwarze, owner of nearby Schwarze Trailer Repair at 5925 State Route 3, was creating an eyesore by using agricultural land near the subdivision to store equipment for his business.

Monroe County Zoning Administrator Chris Voelker explained the trailers still on the property are registered to a farm business and are currently being used to store straw.

Since the equipment is being used for agricultural purposes and Schwarze had since removed any non-agricultural equipment from the property, Voelker said he is in compliance with zoning on the property.

When Koerber asked if Schwarze would consider planting trees as a sight buffer, Schwarze declined, explaining a buffer already exists between the properties. 

He claimed subdivision residents only have an issue in the fall and winter months when leaves are not on the trees.

In one of the few action items during Monday’s meeting, commissioners approved a resolution appointing Nancy Gilbert of Valmeyer to the Monroe County Nursing Home Memorial Endowment Association.

Gilbert will replace Jane McCarthy, who recently resigned from the endowment board which supports the efforts of county-owned senior living facility Oak Hill in Waterloo. 

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Scott Woodsmall

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