East Side Bypass-Highway-Freeway

By:  Diane Benjamin

I attended part of the Public Hearing last night at Central Catholic High school.

Side note:  I wonder how much they spend per student in their lovely facility?  I bet it isn’t close to what Unit 5/District 87 spend.  Somebody should really study that angle.

I did a quick Internet search yesterday trying to figure out when the BYPASS name got changed to HIGHWAY.  As late as 2007 it was still called a “bypass”, maybe the word got out that building an easy way for travelers to drive right by your town wasn’t brilliant.

The sketches of the proposed road still look just like a bypass:  4 lane divided road with a 10 foot bike/walking path, also divided from the southbound lanes.

The good news is the road is not moving forward for at least two years.  The bad news is the land is going to be recorded as the potential site, so development will be affected along the route.  Business and homes won’ t be allowed to build when someday the bypass will have to destroy whatever is there to start construction.  The current property owners should challenge their assessed value now because now the only buyer will be for the road.

Many County Board members were present, the ones I talked to said nobody is for building it now.  A group will be monitoring the area for population growth and traffic conditions on existing roads.  The current population growth is way below predictions, that’s why monitoring will continue with no action for implementation.

Even if funding was available today, a section of the road – probably the south interchange to 74 or the north interchange with 55 – won’t be done for 7 years.  The entire road will not be built all at once, even if future studies claim it is necessary.

Currently no funding exists and nobody is looking for any.

This pic shows the population growth that was expected (green line) and the revised projections (dotted blue line).  The blue line begins at 2010 and extends to 2040.  With State Farm moving out, it still looks overly optimistic.

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Comments

  1. Steve Whelan says:

    Your side note about the per pupil cost at Central Catholic: years ago the private schools operated at a much lower cost than the public schools. But, the private schools didn’t have near the facilites and programs. Plus, back in the day, the Catholic schools were manned in large part by clergy. Or by retired public school teachers (usually Catholic) that were willing to chip in and work for a pittance in order to keep the schools going. None of those factors exist today. I don’t have exact figures but I’m guessing that the tuition at Central Catholic is somewhere north of $7,000 per year. And, since the local Catholic parishes have been trying to eliminate their contribution to the schools, I’m guessing that the $7,000 represents about 70 to 80 % of the actual cost. No idea how that compares to the local public school districts, but I bet that the difference between public and private is no where the difference that it used to be.

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    • I think public is around $13,000+. I did check Cornerstone Christian Academy years ago, it was around $4000. It could be higher now and I don’t know if they get supplementary funding. It would be an interesting study.

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      • “Tuition for the 2016-17 School Year is $7,245.
        An additional $1,800 per non-affiliated student (not a member of our partner parishes).

        A prepayment of $275 per student is due at the time of registration.

        The projected cost of educating a Central Catholic student is $11,488. This means that every Catholic student that attends CCHS receives a discount. Further discounts are available to qualifying families through financial assistance/scholarships. A quality education is an investment in your child’s future. We strive to keep the cost of this investment as low as possible for the families we serve. The difference between the actual cost and tuition is subsidized by the partner parishes and CCHS advancement efforts.”

        They “keep the cost of this investment as low as possible for the families we serve” by paying low salaries to teachers, like most private schools.

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  2. Dawson Lake says:

    What could have McLean County done with an extra 9 million dollars? oh wait it was only 9 million so not much. Help mental health, improve a road or two, fund an ambulance or improve internet service maybe. You know, not much.

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  3. Pete Hettinger says:

    The worst part of this “highway” conversation is the decrease in property values. In 2002 the bypass was expected to have the I-74 interchange where Towanda-Barnes passes over I-74. During that time I was the executor selling a friend’s mini-farm a quarter mile from the proposed interchange. We had to disclose this to any potential buyers and they fled knowing a gas station could be next to them. That idea is no longer being considered but the 2002 potential road plan devalued the property by tens of thousands and the estate suffered the financial loss.

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  4. Alderman Fruin, as a Trustee of CCHS, would have the most accurate information. Teachers and the principal are paid competitively. The school does a tremendous amount of fund raising throughout the year. Approximately 33% of each partner parish’s budget is allocated to the school. Those parishioners who send their children to CCHS are required to contribute an additional several thousand dollars to their parish. Given that, it is nearly impossible to determine the cost/student.

    From their website: “Tuition for the 2016-17 School Year is $7,245.” “The projected cost of educating a Central Catholic student is $11,488. This means that every Catholic student that attends CCHS receives a discount. Further discounts are available to qualifying families through financial assistance/scholarships. A quality education is an investment in your child’s future. We strive to keep the cost of this investment as low as possible for the families we serve. The difference between the actual cost and tuition is subsidized by the partner parishes and CCHS advancement efforts.”
    http://www.blmcchs.org/admissions/tuition__fees___financial_assistance

    These figures do not reflect the cost of construction of the facility.

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