By: Diane Benjamin
Underpass work session:
So far Normal has authorized spending $1.5 million on Phase 1 of the underpass. Chris Koos stated it can not be stopped now because of all the staff time, grants received, and other agencies involved that wouldn’t like Normal backing out now. It almost sounded like Wayne Aldrich (Director of Public Works), who is scheduled to retire, will be hired back as a consultant to complete the project. Koos praised the DC representatives who helped get the grants, that includes Davis and Lahood.
This is what the total cost looks like now:
Every dime is taxpayer money regardless of where it came from.
As of now the taxpayers of Normal will contribute a total of $3.19 million on this luxury item while the water, sewer, and roads don’t get fixed.
See 48:00. Karyn Smith thinks taxpayers would have paid $1.25 million for an overpass that would have been restricted to Amtrak riders. Wayne Aldrich agreed to her numbers.
See this Vidette article from 2016: http://www.videtteonline.com/news/normal-favors-library-move-and-underpass-construction/article_a62995ed-c541-5810-9165-f7907a4d472a.html
Normal could of had on overpass for $114,080. Obviously plans have little to do with getting passengers from one side of the tracks to the other. I wonder if umbrellas will be handed out if it rains? This is now luxury construction with false information given to Trustees who weren’t on the Council when this fiasco started.
Jump to 1:10:20. Chris Koos accuses Stan Nord of putting out false information in a survey he did on Facebook. Of course no details, just accusations. The Town obviously does not want to work with Stan to keep citizens informed. Stan is forced to present information as he sees it, all the Town does is attack him without providing counter points.
Hiring a communications person did nothing to improve communications. Trustees are not given accurate information, just propaganda. Some see through it, others aren’t capable.
The Town is exploring adding passenger drop off on the south side of the underpass since it wasn’t included in front of the train station where people do it anyway.
Somehow construction will happen by only closing one track at a time. The engineering is extensive. Of course an underpass could have been built on Linden so vehicles could also get to the other side of the tracks easier than waiting for trains to clear the intersection. When a consultant is hired (Doug Farr) that doesn’t live here, the obvious isn’t considered.
We did find out why labor associations massively contributed to Chris Koos’ campaign. They were buying jobs: https://illinoissunshine.org/committees/32789/
The only public comment that was able to connect was from Mike Rakes (sp), McLean County Building Trades. They are 100% in on the project. See 1:31:00.
Kathleen Lorenz went on a long rant, 1:14:30. She is upset about the lack of communication. She is going to vote for it anyway. Kevin McCarthy never showed up for either meeting.