McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield represents the County on the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
In its vote this week to approve the Illiana Tollway, Schofield voted in opposition.
I asked her to provide her reasons. You can read them below:
I voted “No” on the Illiana. Several reasons as to why.
First, I completely agree with many of the points made by CMAP staff which included inconsistencies with the Go To 2040 plan.
A main concern was the financial aspect of the project.
Although it would be great if there could be a successful Public Private Partnership, the information on this was very minimal and cost projections to the tax payers were not given.
Very little financial information was released even after numerous questions and concerns were brought forth by the public, County, and CMAP Board.
The comment was made that we should “trust” IDOT that financials will work out and not place a burden on the tax payers.
I am a fact person and just not comfortable with that response.
Bottom line the project is over $1 billion with no solid funding source.Next, there were a number of environmental concerns with the Midewin Tallgrass Prairie that have not been addressed and have fallen off the radar.
Finally, I completely support the integrity of the process.
The introduction of this phase of the project at this time was not consistent with the process.
For the Go To 2040 plan CMAP throughly evaluated projects that were most beneficial to the region based on a set of standards.
The rapid advancement of this project circumvented the process and may take away from those projects that were determined to be most beneficial to the entire region.
I could go on and on about the lack of funding to McHenry County and concerns for projects here, the overwhelming amount of politics brought into a so called non-political process, etc.
But I will stop there as the above are my main concerns and reasons for voting “No” on the Illiana.
It would be nice if a Board/process could actually exist that would be non-partisian and cross boundaries to be within the best interest of a region.
We are not quite there yet.