Elgin’s Daily Courier-News reports that newly-installed Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen is insisting on local voters approving a referendum in 2014 before giving his support to build a toll bridge south of Algonquin.
Pretty much every municipal board, plus McHenry County’s has passed resolutions in support of the toll bridge, but Lauzen wants what Courier-News reporter Matt Brennan characterizes as “hard evidence of public support.”
I guess he doesn’t think village board members’ votes are good enough to provide “hard evidence.”
I would agree.
As an indication that municipal don’t always speak for their constituents, the Crystal Lake City Council voted to endorse the 1974 Regional Transportation Authority referendum, but the voters in McHenry County voted over 90% against the proposal.
My guess is that most local residents don’t even know that local officials might be planning to indenture them with paying toll taxes twenty years (or more, if the tolls are continued after they are paid off–maintenance has to paid for, you know).
$1.50 each way during rush hour, $1 at other times.
While no one likes the toll bridge option for funding the Longmeadow Parkway bridge and corridor, “no bridge” is not an option, given the hard evidence of traffic patterns and growth that has been collected for this region over the past 22 years.
The success of the Algonquin western bypass, which is under construction right now, was contingent on the fact a Longmeadow Parkway bridge would divert some of the east-west traffic using the Route 62 bridge over Algonquin Road.
Advisory referenda on the Longmeadow Parkway bridge/corridor over the years have been inconclusive.
In November 1997, Dundee Township voters narrowly rejected the bridge corridor.
In that referendum, Algonquin voters had the highest turnout, and overwhelmingly favored the corridor.
In 2003, an advisory referendum in the village of Carpentersville won approval by a mere 5 votes.
Again, pretty much evenly divided support and opposition for the project.
And all of this was prior to the toll bridge funding mechanism which materialized over the last decade.
As was written in a previous article (http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2012/12/18/fox-river-toll-bridge-for-algonquin-moves-ahead/), a north-end Kane County bridge hasn’t been built in 50-60 years.
We desperately need this bridge, and if our congressional and state legislative representatives couldn’t come up with the funds, then the toll bridge is a viable option.
Chairman Lauzen is very unwise to this approach to question this project after Kane County has spent over $20 million on this project.
I do not know 1 voter that would approve a toll.
We pay enough in taxes and you would think that the growth in the area would drive the bridge construction.
Enough with the tolls and pulling every last dime that we have left in our pockets!
More proof that many boards don’t have a clue what the public wants:
Of course there should be a referendum.
This is a big public works project that will affect lots of landowners and taxpayers, and the road is only partially funded by tolls.
It shouldn’t be easy for the government to take private land through eminent domain and plow through public lands to build toll roads.
And if approved what’s the assurance no one is able to open a bid and call their buddy to underbid…how often does that happen in government bids?
What’s the assurance bonds are competitive bid not negotiated…how often does that happen in government bonds?
etc. etc. etc.