Posted Nov. 6, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Updated Nov 18, 2015 at 8:44 PM
By Adam Poulisse
Posted Nov. 6, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Updated Nov 18, 2015 at 8:44 PMCHERRY VALLEY — Construction of a metal fabrication shop that would bring about 25 jobs to the area has been postponed until summer.Ceroni Piping Co. is planning a $5.5 million, 25,000-square-foot warehouse at the intersection of U.S. 20 and Interstate 90 in Cherry Valley. It was originally scheduled to break ground this month. However, approval for a final plat that would allow President/CEO Steve Ceroni to subdivide and sell two lots — one 4 acres and the other 13 acres — on the property has taken longer than expected."It's somewhat disappointing," Ceroni said. "We were hoping to do something this fall. We understand it's all part of the approval process."The plat received the last of eight required approvals by the Cherry Valley Village Board on Tuesday.The delay was a result of presenting the final plat at meetings that were already scheduled, according to Natalie Hyser Barber, an attorney with Tobin & Ramon in Belvidere representing Ceroni.Construction was also postponed to avoid doing work in inclement weather, Ceroni said.The final plat requires eight signatures. Typically, a plat must be approved by the county engineer, county recorder, adjoining municipalities and a representative from the planning department, said Kathy Miller, interim planning director for Boone County."Every plat requires certain signatures," she said.In June 2014, Ceroni Real Estate, a division of Ceroni Piping, closed a deal on almost 23 acres of farmland at 974 U.S. 20. The County Board in February approved a special use permit to allow outdoor storage.On Oct. 21, the Boone County Board approved the final plat despite some concern from two board members.District 3 board member Sherry Branson lives near the property. During the meeting, she referenced documents from Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District that stated the Illinois Geological Survey found the future business site is a high potential for aquifer contamination, and that it would be in the best interest of Boone County to require a groundwater protection plan."It concerns me because, I think, as a board we owe it to the neighbors to protect their wells," Branson said. "I would feel better about this if we had a ground water protection plan implemented and it was on file."Barber told the board at the meeting that Ceroni has worked with the health department to ensure his proposed well and septic system is feasible.Sheriff Dave Ernest said he didn't believe traffic was a concern for that expanding business district."We have accidents all over the county," he said. "I don't think this is any greater of an area than ... the areas that are connected to Bypass 20 as it drives through our county."Ceroni Piping is the second-largest contractor in northwest Illinois between Belvidere and the Mississippi River, according to Register Star archives. It hires about 45 union members to do field work each year.
District 3 board member Ken Freeman said he had concerns about the traffic that area will generate."I'm all for business in Boone County," he told the board, "but that area ... is an accident waiting to happen, and I will not be supporting it."Freeman and Branson voted against the plat.
An earlier RRStar piece on the Ceroni project is available at: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20150403/NEWS/150409767/0/SEARCH