Local News

Chadwick philanthropist donates land for new Carroll County Transit garage

MOUNT CARROLL – Carroll County Transit officials decided on a location for the agency’s new garage.

Actually, it was a decision made for them, thanks to the generosity of retired Chadwick farmer and philanthropist Harold Andresen. He is donating a little more than an acre next to the Carroll County Senior Services Center at 17612 E. Benton St., where the transit center office and the Veterans Assistance Commission also are located.

Andresen also donated that land, which he bought for $96,100 in early 2018, and paid for the building’s construction; it opened in September 2020.

The new garage, which will house CCT’s four buses and 10 vans, will be built in the senior center’s gravel parking lot to the left and out into the nearby field, said Alicia Kness, operations manager.

Transit officials still are working with an architect to firm up the design of the planned 60-by-120-foot structure, but expect to be to the point where they can put out the call for bids in 1 to 3 months, Kness said.

In January, CCT was awarded a $536,000 Rebuild Illinois grant to buy land and build the garage. Plans were to buy a wooded parcel off state Route 64 and East Benton from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Even though the land purchase now is not part of the equation, CCT still will need all of the grant for design and construction, Kness said.

Through his Andresen Trust, Andresen, 85, funded 35 scholarships for Carroll County seniors last year, and the goal is to give away 35 more this year, he said Thursday.

He’s also donated to 4-H and other local agricultural and civic organizations throughout the years.

“We like to help out,” he said.

Andresen also is the brother of the late teacher Arliss L. Andresen of Fulton, who taught in Ashton, Chadwick and Morrison schools. After she died on Oct. 16, 2012, she left her home and its acre or so of land to her brother and sister, Darlene Ladd-Hogan of Farmington, Maine, and to a Fulton church.

To honor his sister’s love of nature and her little house overlooking the Mississippi River, Harold bought out the church’s share, and he and his sister donated the site to the city of Fulton, on the condition that it be turned into a nature center in her memory.

The Andresen Nature Center at 409 N. Fourth St. is open seasonally.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.