Tonight sometime after 7 PM the public will get its first opportunity to comment on the sale of about a 400 square foot parcel to BMB Communications Management at the McHenry County College Conference Center on the south side of the campus.
BMB proposes to build the tallest structure in Illinois—taller that the Sears Tower—on it.
The 1,500 foot broadcast tower that McHenry County College wants permission to build will dwarf the current 495 FM tower.
A $6 million price is in the contract.
But the taxpayers won’t get all of the money.
The contract proposed will allow it to be diverted to the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation.
Now, I’m not questioning the good will of the private individuals who are on the Foundation’s board, but they are certainly not subject to the Open Meetings Act or the Freedom of Information Act.
But, if the money is to be diverted to subsidize student tuition through the McHenry County Promise program or to build half a baseball stadium, taxpayers deserve to be able to see their elected college trustees make the decision in a public meeting.
I doubt many people will attend the meeting, given the very few details that have been released.
There isn’t even a drawing of what the mega-tower will look like yet.
I expect visual pollution to be the main objection.
You can see what the tower in Kiev, Ukraine, would look like if it were 1,500 feel tall and placed on college property. The view is from the middle of the south side of Crystal Lake. Snow is on the lake.